Do you need tips on food and drink choices prior to a cycling event? To cycle like a pro, you must have proper nutrition and hydration prior to a ride. If your body is not at optimal levels prior to going cycling, you will be weak and unable to maintain speeds that are needed to keep up. Even if you are riding alone and not trying to keep up with a group of riders, lack of proper nutrition will rear its ugly head. You could end up with muscle spasms or an injury due to improper muscle care. Not to mention you will not have the endurance and stamina needed to go long distances.
Food and Drink Choices Prior to a Cycling Event
So, what should you eat and drink prior to a ride? There are several key components to food and drink choices. Read on and we will discuss the most important foods and drinks.
The first of the tips on food and drink choices prior to a cycling event is hydration. You must stay hydrated to survive. Supposedly, you can go for several days without eating, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Not eating can make you cranky. However, humans can’t go long without water or other sources of hydration without becoming dehydrated. When you add cycling or other strenuous activities to your daily activities, it stands to reason that you need additional fluids. The best choice is water. However, other liquids can also keep you hydrated such as milk, juices, and power drinks. The main drink to avoid is soda. Soda is a dehydrator which could cause issues when cycling.
Protein is the next of the tips on food and drink choices prior to a cycling event. Your muscles need protein to properly function. Protein is also necessary for energy and stamina. Staying full longer is also another benefit of protein. Other foods will leave you feeling hungry in less time than protein. What are good sources of protein before a cycling event? Good sources of protein include butter from nuts such as peanut butter and almond butter. Other sources of protein include eggs, cheese, lean meat, milk, and other nuts. You can also take a protein bar with you to snack on as you are getting ready to get started.
While carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation over the last several years, athletes need carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are necessary for providing energy when doing intense activities. The night prior to a big race, you need to eat up on carbohydrates. Now, this does not mean you should eat a bunch of “bad” carbs. You need to focus on the carbs that don’t come from a box or are pre-made at the store. Good carb choices include whole wheat bread and pastas, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables. Again, the morning before a cycling ride, you should also eat more carbohydrates. Try a bagel with almond butter on it and get both your carbs and protein out of the way.
Other Nutritional Sources
In addition to the above sources of nutrients, you also need iron. Iron is needed to deliver oxygen to your muscles to keep them to keep them pumping on a long ride. You also need calcium -rich foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt to keep your muscles contracting properly while riding. Lastly, you need Omega-3 foods to help reduce the pain and inflammation of riding.
To prepare for a long cycling event like a pro, you need the above tips on foods and drink choices prior to a cycling event. With proper nutrition, you will have ample energy to make those long rides possible.