Cycling is not easy at all, especially if you don’t get your diet right. Getting the right nutrients in your body for a ride is equally as important as the gear and the wheels beneath you. Your performance will start to peak the second you get your food in order. At least, that’s exactly what happened to me.
Being a beginner cyclist is not possible without the proper fuel for your body. The second I started regulating what I eat and getting the right fuel for my body, my endurance got better, and I was not only able to go more but do it also faster and with more vigour.
Nutrients, Vitamins and Minerals for Cycling
To get the best results, recover well, and stay completely fit and healthy when going cycling, you have to get the right kind of fuel for your body. You are going to need a mix of the following elements.
- Protein: The building blocks of muscles. Strengthens your body and repairs damaged tissue.
- Carbohydrates: Preferred source of energy for cyclists that promotes endurance.
- Vitamin C: Boosts your immune system.
- Iron: Builds up red blood cells and helps to deliver oxygen to muscles.
- Magnesium: Regulates blood sugar levels and blood pressure and promotes bone development.
- Vitamin D: Helps to increase metabolism.
- Vitamin E: Protects muscle and lung cells.
Best Cycling Food for Fueling Your Body
There is no better way of boosting your body than with a tasty meal. I have to say that not all healthy food is as tasty as you would want it to be. But when it comes to riding a bike, I will give you a few of my favourites that will help you ride long, ride hard, and will allow you to recover faster after you are done.
- Red meat: Ups your iron intake.
- Salmon: Has proteins and healthy Omega 3 fats.
- Green vegetables: Have essential minerals and vitamins.
- Nuts and oils: Excellent source of vitamin E.
- Pasta and rice: Your main source of carbohydrates and sugar.
- Potatoes: Has the necessary vitamins, proteins, and carbs.
- Porridge: Oats keep you full for a long time and are extremely healthy.
- Citrus fruits: A vitamin C bomb that also has lots of iron.
However, if you need a quick fix and some nutrients on the go, there are a few other things that you can pack in your pocket and take with you during a ride.
- Energy bars: Be sure to have a couple of these if you are planning to go for longer than 90 minutes.
- Protein bars: Similar to energy bars, they provide you with added fuel for a long ride.
- Energy gels: An alternative to energy bars and a great source of carbohydrates.
- Recovery shakes: Needed for muscle recovery and to provide you with maximum benefits after a ride.
Importance of Hydration
What you don’t want to forget is to stay hydrated while going for a ride. Being hydrated is important to help digest the food you have eaten, as well as help you attain a high level of performance when cycling.
Believe me; you don’t want to get dehydrated while on a bike. You will start to feel ill, and your head will begin throbbing really soon. So besides drinking the regular six to eight glasses of water a day, you will need some extra fluids to make up for the amount you lose during the ride.