Nutrition is fuel for the body just as petrol fuels a car. Sound strategic nutrition can therefore improve efficiency of fuel used by the muscle, help buffer lactic acid, increase oxygen delivery and enhance recovery after training or racing so the body is prepared for the subsequent riding or training.
Rapha Condor Sharp Nutritionist Mayur Ranchordas and Scientists from SIS give us their tips getting the best out of your ride.
- Pre-ride meals should be low glycaemic index so blood glucose levels don’t rise too quickly. 2 Scrambled eggs on 1 slice of rye bread topped with pepper or porridge made with milk with some fruit or muesli with dried apricot on a natural yogurt are some great pre-ride meals.
- Consider the amount of time between breakfast and the start. Take an extra SiS Go Energy bar for the line-up area and a bottle of electolyte based drink if it is hot. Check out the course and break it down into sections, work out where the best place will be to take on nutrition. At big climbs - take a SiS Go Isotonic gel at the start or half way up, and reward yourself at the top with an energy bar. You'll digest this on the way down before the next flat or climbing section ahead.
- Remember the basic strategy of 60-80g of carbs with 500ml-1000ml liquid per hour. These quantities can be a mix of energy bars, gels and energy drinks.
- If your event is in the summer you'll be sweating more so need to replace electrolytes. You'll find specific energy drinks with additional electrolytes or use electrolyte tablets that dissolve in water - electrolyte tablets don't contain energy and ideal if you prefer energy bars or gels for energy intake.
- Build in flexibility into your plan in order to cope with weather changes during the day and remember that sweat rates on long climbs could be high irrespective of the weather.
- The recovery meal should be high in high glycaemic index carbohydrate to replenish muscle glycogen and contain moderate amounts of protein to start the recovery process. One of the best recovery meals after a ride is a recovery milkshake as it very quick to digest and easy to take on or if you prefer solid food a flapjack and yogurt or recovery bar will be suitable.