One of the best things about riding your bike is that you can eat just about anything you you want. You can definitely consume more calories, but the right eating plan will give you energy, make you feel better, release more energy to your body more efficiently and help you lose weight also.
The best eating plan for a cyclist is one that includes plenty of low fat, high carbohydrate foods to provide energy and fluids to offer hydration. While carbs are very bad to many dieters, they are certainly not the bad diet foods that some people might lead you to believe. Carbs are your body’s best source of energy for cycling. Since you are constantly burning carbs to fuel your cycling as well as daily activities, you must regularly replace them with a high carbohydrate diet.
Get your fill of carbohydrates through fruits vegetables, beans, and whole grain breads, rice and pasta. Round out your diet with lean protein and a small amount of fat.
When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. About an hour before a ride, eat a high carbohydrate snack or small meal. Some ideas might be fresh fruit and whole grain toast or a half whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.
If you planning to ride is longer than 1 hour, you’ll need to refuel with more carbs. Researchers recommend about 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate each 30 minutes you ride beyond the first hour. This might be a good time to consider a sports drink or energy bar. Eating a high carb snack or meal within 1 hour after a lengthy ride is important to replenish your body and prepare you for your next ride.
Cyclists drink fluids before, during and after riding to stay hydrated. Becoming dehydrated is one of the worst things that can happen to you and so it is important to be proactive and push lots of fluids, even before you feel thirsty. You'll want to drink at least 8 - 12 ounces of fluid immediately before a ride, another 8 ounces every half hour during a ride, and enough when you're finished to gradually replenish those lost fluids after a ride.
How well you perform tomorrow depends on how well you recover today, which is why you can't cut corners when it comes to your post-workout fueling.
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