Eating a small, easily digested meal 60 minutes before riding is recommended.
Hydrate In Advance
Make sure you’re well hydrated by drinking 5-10mls of fluid per kilo of bodyweight, two hours in advance.
But Not Too Much
Drink when you’re thirsty, to maintain hydration, but avoid consuming too much liquid as it can make things worse.
Wear suitable clothing for the conditions and acclimatize before racing when it’s hot.
Ride At Your Fitness Level
Symptoms should improve with general fitness, but if sickness is a major issue, reduce your effort and build up gradually.
You can lower your anxiety levels through preparation — leave nothing to chance, especially when racing.
Avoid Drinks With Fructose
There is some evidence to suggest that drinks containing fructose can aggravate digestive issues more than glucose, sucrose or maltodextrins. So if you suffer with gastrointestinal symptoms, it may be best to avoid drinks containing fructose. Be sure to read the labels of the products you are using.
Avoid Fatty Meals
Avoid large fatty meals within three hours of riding to try and minimize the need for your body to devote energy to the digestive system. Many people will need to leave even more time between eating and a big ride in order to minimize nausea, so experiment to find out what time period works best for you.
Try Better Sports Drinks
Glucose polymer drinks (sports drinks) mixed to a 6-8% solution are optimal in terms of absorption of energy and fluid from the drink. However, the more glucose that’s contained within the drink, the slower the emptying time from the stomach to the small intestine. Therefore, consuming a glucose polymer drink that is less concentrated may help with gastrointestinal symptoms (i.e hypotonic instead of isotonic or hypertonic).
Check Your Riding Position
Your position on your bike physically effects your digestive system – that’s why cyclists are more likely to have upper digestive issues than lower. Have a look at how you’re seated Are your handle bars too low? Do you try take regular breaks out of the saddle to improve posture? Taking these things into account should help you feel better.
Medicate If Necessary
Antispasmodic medication (normally used to treat IBS spasms or similar), or medication to reduce production of gastric acid could help with your symptoms. However, these medications should only be used under supervision of your doctor and if taking other steps to minimize discomfort have failed.
Take A Probiotic
If you have frequent and prolonged irritation, it can lead to a condition known as dysbosis, which is an imbalance of the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. A good quality probiotic supplement regimen may help with symptoms.