Energizing your ride

Sports Nutrition, June 25, 2018

One of the easiest ways to improve your performance on the bike is to make sure that you are fuelling your effort properly. In order to do this it is critical that you are putting energy into your body regularly throughout a ride. Only eating or drinking when you stop isn’t enough.

One of the easiest ways to improve your performance on the bike is to make sure that you are fuelling your effort properly. In order to do this it is critical that you are putting energy into your body regularly throughout a ride. Only eating or drinking when you stop isn’t enough.

In our previous video post we discussed the fact that many riders have a hard time drinking or eating on the bike because they are not able to take a hand off the handlebar. This means that they only fuel their ride when they stop. If this is the case then your are surely not getting enough calories. Perhaps even worse, you are setting yourself up for some serious gastric problems when you try and fill your belly full of more sugar than it can handle at the rest stop.

Developing a fuelling strategy for your rides is something to be practiced before the day of your event. You want to find a strategy that will work for you personally, that has been tested and doesn’t make you develop a sore stomach or feel uncomfortable.

What does a fuelling strategy look like? Ideally we are looking to maximize the number of calories that you are getting into your body each hour. Theoretically science says that this can be as high as 300 calories/hour without running into stomach issues. Each of us is different though and so we need to practice and find out what works best.

The simplest fuelling strategy, which we recommend to our clients at the gym, is to use a high calorie drink mix. You can find drink mixes now that have as many as 270 calories in a water bottle. This makes for a very easy fuelling strategy. Drink a bottle each hour and you are getting the calories you want, along with the liquids needed to stay hydrated.

Since many riders are uncomfortable taking a hand off the bar the other bonus of using a high calorie drink mix is that drinking your calories is much easier than trying to unwrap a bar or banana while riding.

Typically what we find works for a lot of riders is a high calorie drink mix, along with some gels in the final hour or two of the ride.

Be sure to develop and practice your fuelling strategy before your big day out on the bike. You will find that some products work for you and others don’t. Getting in enough calories, steadily throughout the day, will be the easiest way to improve your performance and increase your enjoyment on the day.

 

You might also like: