What are we going to eat when we’re on the road? Before we start, I’ve mentioned before, we are not primed athletes training for the next ‘Iron Man’. That said, we do need to consider our diet. Let’s face it, none of us are going to ‘bonk’, we know we are going to get to our destination, unless something happens out of out control. How do we know we are going to get there? Because we, ourselves, have set our own individual target for that particular day. Who is going to set an unachievable target? None of us. We know, or should know, the distance, the terrain, the gradients, the weather forecast by the hour, the mid way point and our pit stop points. We’ve done all of our planning. What we want to achieve now, is how easy we can make it, it has to be enjoyable. The final has to be an achievement, but it mustn’t kill us in getting there. We still have tomorrow.
In terms of eating, the morning starts the night before. Our last meal of the day should consist of complex carbohydrates that are wholemeal. Foods like brown rice or brown spaghetti should be our staple and around seventy percent of the total meal. No more, we don’t want to wake up feeling bloated. The balance should be made up of equal portions of good quality protein and good fats. Prime examples are chicken breast and eggs. The lists are endless and can be found easily on the web.
If we are starting our ride soon after we wake up, then a light breakfast including some simple sugars will do the trick. Half of one cup of porridge oats, this will provide us with prolonged energy. Add some honey to the oats. The honey is our simple sugar that gives us a boost to get us going. A bit like the old ‘choke’ sticks on older cars. I prefer my oats with water, milk is heavy on the gut and water adds to my hydration levels. You should aim to drink one litre of water for every ninety minutes of constant cycling. On hot days, be sure to drink more. The secret to hydration is to drink before you’re thirsty. Small regular sips.
Dependent on your distance and timing, your lunch should be consumed at your half way point or a small distance further on, not before otherwise our negative psychology about ‘distance to go’ will put us in a negative frame of mind.
Lunch should be small, don’t be too strict on what you eat, but do make sure you get some simple sugars. Fruit is an ideal source, the sweeter the better. Strong coffee too. The caffeine and the sugar will start to kick in and give you a boost at about twenty or thirty minutes after you’ve taken it. Make sure you’re still not sitting down at this point otherwise your boosters are worthless. It’s surprising the effect these natural boosters have. Suddenly you’ll speed up and the force at which your cycling will become easier. I remember the first few times it happened to me. I’d think to myself, ‘where did that come from’?
Evening meal we have already covered. If you want a snack before sleeping, anything other than caffeine or sugars will do the trick.
If you want a detailed diet plan covering macronutrient divide and nutrition, and a training schedule specific to your needs, for every day use in preparation for going on tour, or a daily food plan for whilst you’re on tour then get in touch, using the contact tab on the homepage.
Remember, if it’s white, it’s no good and your simple sugars can’t come from pints of beer. Always brown, wholemeal, and moderate your intake of alcohol.
Love it or hate it? No, face it, diet and nutrition is vital to maintaining energy levels.