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What to Eat Before a Long Bike Ride ?

What to Eat Before a Long Bike Ride ?

One of the common activities that are both fun and adventure-filled is probably bike riding. Beginners may require quite some time to get used to the activities, but as time goes by and they improve on it, they would want to try different levels of trail intensities and tracks.

A long bike ride may take a lot of one’s energy and power, but with the right practice and careful riding, you should just be all right. It is important that you know the right exercises to support your muscle’s power needs, and of course, the right foods to take to give you enough fuel to last the ride.

It is important to understand that having a good nutrition is the key component to a successful active lifestyle. These foods that you take will help improve your performance and long bike rides – this is to say that there are certain foods that are key and will keep you fuel up.

If you have been already cycling for some time, then you have a good grasp of just how much you can last without refueling your energy, and how much stamina is used for a certain time. Now, here are some food and drink choices you can consider to help further you remain fuels on rides.

Cyclist’s Nutrition

For every fitness goals and workout programs, there are different types of nutrition that one must have to be able to support the lifestyle and activities they have.

Cyclist’s Nutrition

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For cyclists, the proper or ideal nutrition they must have is something wherein they eat and pack just enough carbs, proteins, and fats while avoiding gaining the excess weight. This is possible when you know the right amount and time on when to eat your food in- line with your riding.

It is important to eat straight after your training, as this is the most effective and important nutrition process to help maximize your body’s recovery – by refueling your tank and giving your muscles the energy to repair themselves.

Remember that it is also important that you eat before you start training. Ideally, if you have had eaten three hours before your training, you are good to go; but if it had gone more than three hours, take a light and simple carbohydrate snack to give you enough energy, and this is the best way to start your training – in the best shape.

A proper diet means knowing and consuming the right amount of food, in proper proportions. Remember that the right proportioning is as follows: one- third energy foods, one- third health foods, and one- third function foods, this will help you get all the right nutrients that you need.

  • Energy foods are slow- released carbohydrates
  • Fruits and vegetables are considered as health foods
  • Protein source foods like meat, eggs, and fish are your function foods

Long bike rides will require an ideal 60g per hour of carbohydrates, as this will be your friend as it kicks to start the recovery process on the bike.

Food Components important to your Bicycle Riding


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With carbohydrates gaining more negative notions due to the diet plans that are around now, it is important to understand the role it will play on your nutrition if you are a cyclist. Carbohydrates are your body’s source of fuel, and there are good and bad carbs that you should be aware of to be on track.

The fuel or energy that your body draws from carbohydrates are stored in the muscles, while the excess are stored in the fat; and you should know your body’s weekly carbohydrate requirement, which will depend on the miles you averagely take, and you must consider the whole picture, meaning your lifestyle demands.


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Okay, so it is a no-brainer that you need protein in any diet or nutrition plans – for cyclists, protein will be a support to your health, immune function and recovery in every ride as they are responsible for the maintenance of your body tissues.

Remember that protein’s positive effect when taken properly is to better your energy levels, making it an important ingredient to have in any activity.


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Of course, we are talking about the good fats! Take note that the type of fat that you take is critical not only to your health but also has an effect on your performance.

The ideal amount of good fat you must take is about 20g per day, as this will make a good strategy to have a good health support in a way that does not add much calorific fat into your diet.

Specific Food to Take You on Longer Rides


waterHey! The best and most effective thing at any circumstance is going back to the basics. Water is the number one ‘replenisher’ you have to consider and always have with you to keep you hydrated especially during an activity.

For rides that usually lasts for about an hour to an hour and a half, water will do to keep you well- fuelled, and you can take it after a ride.


OatmealOatmealOatmealOatmeal especially when mixed in with some nuts like almonds or walnuts is a good meal to be taken every before ride as it is equipped with plenty of carbs but depending on the amount of nuts you put, may be low in protein.

To fully utilize the benefits of oatmeal, try cooking it in milk instead of water to have more power in boosting your energy and boosting your heart’s health.

Mouthful Carb-Loaded Sandwich

sandwichOkay, this may not be that specific, but to have a carbohydrate-filled meal you can take a ride will keep you fuelled up. Having eggs and cheese in your ride sandwich will keep your body’s appetite in check all throughout your ride.

Some of the components of your sandwich may be an English muffin, and bacon — although, bagels can give you a little bit more energy.


HamA Spanish cured ham seasoned with olive oil and tomatoes is a portable meal which is a good example of an easy- to- digest carbohydrates and proteins plus good fats rolled into one to provide you with a more sustained energy.

Ham is known to have a naturally salty taste, and the saltiness of it may help in the reduction or replacement of sodium that tends to be lost when you sweat.


pizzaYes, you do not have to say goodbye to this international food, but it is important that you do it right. Enjoy your pizza with vegetables, some lean meat toppings and maybe experiment by adding some fruits on it.

Pizza can ideally deliver macronutrients of carbs, fats, and proteins; it is important you give yourself about two hours to digest it and use a whole- wheat crust. Eating it within an hour could help replenish your energy.


BananasOne of the power boosting quick snacks athletes take bananas, not only are they rich in potassium, but they also contain carbohydrates that help provide some advantages to your muscle’s ability for it to efficiently fuel up.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Aside from being your favorite go-to snack, PB&J is your perfect pocket fuel. The bread and jam in this snack will give you carbohydrates while the peanut butter and jam provide the proteins and fats.

Trail Mix

Simple snacks such as the dried fruits and nuts in a trail mix are concentrated source of carbohydrates. They can provide added benefits of potassium and at the same time, keep your body supplied with energy, magnesium, and vitamin E.


YogurtTogether with other fluids, yogurt is not only a yummy and healthy treat you can take during breakfast or lunch; as it can also help in replenishing your carbohydrate stores.


More Italian food for you! Gone are the days when people deprive themselves of these yummy foods when they go on a diet or having an active lifestyle. Pasta is the perfect example of “carbo- loading” practice that had become a cycling tradition.

Whole grain pasta is not only rich in carbohydrates, and provides a bit of protein, but also is a lower GI food which provides a more sustained energy.

Grains and SeedsGrains and seeds

You know your grains, which you can experiment on and get your recipe: quinoa, farro, spelled, wheat berries and chia seeds are some of the favorite grains and seeds that are packed with high nutrient density and protein.

Nutrient- Dense Foods for After Biking

After a ride, your body will need some support to muscle and tissue recovery, and these foods are good for your health and help most athletes in recovery after an exercise:

  • Sweet Potato – They are a good slow- digesting fuel for any activity or fitness goals as they are a good source of vitamins A, B and C, manganese, copper and pantothenic acid; and they promote stabilizing your blood’s glucose levels.
  • Kale – A great source of healthy fats, particularly omega- 3 fatty acids that are essential in boosting your heart’s health – as biking can be a good cardio workout as well, you will need you heart to be in tip- top shape.
  • Eggs – It is known that eggs are a healthy breakfast meal, they play a vital role when it comes to building muscle as they are a good source of Protein – high-quality protein. Also, eggs are a good source of omega- 3 fatty acids that can support your heart’s health.

Keep Hydrated

Aside from water, there are a lot of energy drinks in the market that you can take to provide you with just enough hydration you need and give you energy for your ride.


  • High5 – This energy drink contains two sources of carbohydrates, equipped with fruity or citrus taste and flavors, to help keep you well- fuelled and hydrated for a good four to five-hour ride.
  • Gatorade Perform – This Gatorade drink is ideal for a hot day ride, as it comes in a compact packaging, it is easy to take and attend to your thirst during a thirst quenching activity. It provides a citrus flavor and can give you the energy boost you need for your ride.
  • USN Enduro Carbs – energy- a packed drink that contains about 69g of carbohydrates for two scoops, making it an energy- dense drink. To keep you energized and hydrated, this drink contains three types of carbohydrates, electrolytes, minerals and antioxidant for a well- rounded nutritional effect.
  • Pure Sports Workout Formula – this sports drink can help fuel your muscles and help prevent your tissues from being damaged which is not far from happening during long rides. 

Blended and Juiced FoodBlended and Juiced Food

For a much convenient energy source to take before, during and even after a long bike ride, you may go for blending and juicing your food, which can be of your benefit. This will give you a choice and control on what food and ingredients to go with your intake to boost your energy and prepare your body for the intensity of your upcoming ride.


Okay, caffeine may not be one to come to mind when thinking of energy boosting drinks. Caffeine is more known to wake up and keep one focused on a task, normally on a daily basis. Now, caffeine is discovered to have helped with one’s sports performance, as it can help improve one’s endurance and a cyclist’s time trial performance.


There are a lot of food and beverages that may have had come as a surprise on this list, but knowing how to do and handle them properly will give and provide you the right amount of energy to help boost your performance and give you the protection your body needs to face the intensity of your rides.

Know that you do not have to give up on your favorite foods growing up as they have benefits and are helpful when it comes to loading up and fuelling your energy to prepare you actively for your long rides. Mastering what you need, when you need it, and how to get it is one of the important things you should know to efficient function on your lifestyle.

About the Author Nick Soros

Hi, I'm Nick Soros. I have been an cycling enthusiast from 2006. is my personal blog where I share my pedaling experience. No matter you are a new cyclist or skillful one, you would find useful topics in my site. Have a great cycling...