Preparing for the Ride.
Ever wonder what to eat before a ride? Me too. Its always been a racing tradition to load up on a hearty carb dinner the night before the race, Chicken Pasta, Spaghetti, etc. Lately, there has been talk about the less intake of carbs and more intake of starches, like eating a rice cake with eggs the night before a race. Also adding proteins and "good" Fats. Isn't there an easy answer? Of course not. Vaguely put I think its best to use your training rides as practice to see what is best for your body and stomach. Here are some basic guidelines.
Before the ride.
Ever try taking a test on an empty stomach? Epic failure. Unless, you're riding a short distance at ease, it's going to be hard tackling that 5 mile warm up on an empty stomach in the morning. Fueling your body one to two hours before your ride will help your blood sugar level go up and help burn calories. A light healthy breakfast will get you to the finish line. Eggs, fruit, and protein shakes are great morning choices.
During the ride.
Liquids and Energy Bars will help keep your body hydrated and fueled during your ride, so you don't find yourself pooped out half way down the stretch. Its best to hydrate your body about every 20 minutes. Any sports drinks will help refuel your body dramatically such as GU Brew Tablets, Nuun Active Hydration, or CamelBak Elixir tablets. About every 45 minutes, its best to eat a snack, so that is when you pull out the picnic basket on your back right? Well not exactly. There are tons of different bars, gels, and snacks out there you can choose to take on your ride. Whats the best? I'm sure your going to hear a lot of opinions but the best rule is to choose the healthiest best tasting bar you can find. Some popular choices: Clif Shot Bloks Chews, Clif Shot Energy Gel, GU Chomps, Honey Stinger Bars, Honey Stinger Chews, and the newest bar at PricePoint the Bonk Breaker Energy Bar.
After the ride.
Refuel! It is best to eat right after you ride (15 to 20 minutes after) to repair fatigued muscle and tissue. Consume a good mix of protein and carbs. Eggs, wheat toast, protein shakes or bars, yogurt and even chocolate milk. This will help replenish all the nutrients your body needs to "Recover" and will alleviate soreness and fatigue you will have later in the day.
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