Long distance cycling snacking
On long rides over 1 hour my cycling snacking usually consists of a banana and energy bar. However, longer rides often require a little more variation and depend on specific refuelling stops, perhaps less appropriate in a race. Cycling experts suggest 60g carbs per hour is a good amount to aim for. This is also the maximum uptake the body is capable of so there’s no point in exceeding it.
Easy to digest and are loaded with fast-acting carbohydrates (one large banana provides 31 grams of carbs). They make the perfect pre- or post-exercise snack too. Just be sure to have your banana with some form of protein after exercise to promote muscle recovery and repair.
I also usually carry a little treat like a ‘TRIBE’ or ‘Clif’ bar for a boost of energy. Ideally, I’d make something at home like flapjack or protein balls, so I know exactly what’s going into it (eg honey rather than refined sugar), but sometimes I’m human too and time just isn’t on my side, these are a convenient alternative.
Its important to select the correct bar for your intended consumption time. Energy bars content varies in relation to the bodies requirements before, during or after exercise. They will contain different amounts of carbohydrate, protein and fat which we require in different amounts pre-ride, mid performance or post-ride.
For instance post ride we need to recover quickly and rebuild muscles so higher protein is required, in contrast to pre-ride where we need slow release carbohydrates to maintain our carbohydrate store and prevent a energy/performance crash.
Lesson 5 – Pick the right energy bar (read the label to find out exactly what’s in them)
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