Cycling is an incredible activity that not only provides a great workout, but also allows us to explore the world around us in a unique way. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or just starting out, proper nutrition is crucial to maximise your performance and endurance, especially when it comes to long distance rides.
We’ve discussed long distance running and skiing nutrition in the past and while the general guidance is still relevant, there are certain intricacies and unique things to be aware of when preparing for longer rides. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of fueling for long distance cycling and dive into the benefits of energy bars for this purpose.
The Power of Proper Fuelling
Long distance cycling requires sustained energy levels to keep you going mile after mile. Without adequate fuel, you may experience sluggishness, fatigue, and a decline in overall performance. Thus, it is essential to pay careful attention to your pre-ride, during-ride, and post-ride nutrition.
To start your long distance cycling journey on the right foot, it is important to prepare your body by consuming a well-balanced meal a couple of hours before you hit the road. This meal should be rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats to provide a steady release of energy throughout your ride. Consider including foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and nuts.
During a long distance ride, your body requires a continuous supply of easily digestible carbohydrates to keep your muscles fueled and your energy levels high. This is where energy bars come into play. Energy bars are convenient, portable, and specifically designed to provide a quick and efficient source of fuel on the go.
Energy Bars for Cycling
When choosing energy bars for cycling, it’s important to opt for options that contain a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Look for bars that have a mix of fast-acting sugars, such as glucose and fructose, to provide an immediate energy boost, along with slower releasing carbohydrates to sustain your energy levels over time.
Furthermore, energy bars containing proteins can aid in muscle recovery and repair, while healthy fats such as nuts and seeds can provide additional calories and satiety. Additionally, paying attention to the bar’s ingredient list is important. Opt for bars that contain natural ingredients without any added preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Bars made from natural ingredients are also more likely to contain natural nutrients and minerals which you may need to replenish during a long distance cycle.
Remember, personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right energy bar. It is advisable to try different brands and flavours during your training sessions to find the one that works best for you. Our Luchos are based on a classic bocadillo which has been a staple and well-kept secret of cycling nutrition for Colombian cyclists for centuries. To see why, check out our sample pack of 4 flavours all built on the classic superfruit Guava.
After a long distance cycling session, it is essential to replenish your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal recovery. A balanced post-ride meal should contain a combination of carbohydrates and proteins to replenish glycogen stores and support muscle repair.
Including sources of lean proteins, such as chicken or tofu, with complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes or quinoa, is an excellent way to nourish your body and promote efficient recovery.
Fuelling for long distance cycling is a vital aspect of improving your performance and endurance on the road. By paying attention to your nutrition before, during, and after your rides, you can ensure that your body has the fuel it needs to conquer those long miles. Energy bars are a convenient option for on-the-go refuelling during your rides, providing a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. So, next time you embark on a long distance cycling adventure, don’t forget to pack some energy bars to keep your energy levels soaring and your muscles pumping!