What to Eat During or After Cycling

A group of young adults working out in a spinning class at the gym

We’ve already discussed about meals you should take before you set out to cycle. Whether you cycle as a part of life, i.e. for routine commuting, or as a form of exercise or you’re training for a marathon or race, eating forms an important part of the routine.  After all cycling needs immense amount of energy that you can only derive from food.  Food you take ahead of cycling gets burnt as you exercise; muscles damage that need repair through replenishment and so on.

During Cycling: If you are cycling long distance or tend to feel loss of energy while cycling regular distance it is best to carry 500 ml sports drink, or a banana, or carbohydrate based cereal or energy bars etc.

Post cycling fuelling: First the timing. Eat within an hour of exercising. Don’t wait to feel hungry or weak. The sooner you give your body the essential ingredients to start building and repairing muscles, the better.

Remember that to set your body on the process of recovery and repair you need to fuel it with carbohydrate & protein. They both make for essential nutrients for the body. Anyway our body can store very limited amount of carbs and it gets exhausted as you cycle. To refuel your body you need the right kind of diet. While you focus on carbs don’t rule out use of caffeine altogether as it makes for an energy provider.

Proteins are important because they act as building blocks for growth of repair of damaged muscles or to work on its wear and tear. Muscle tissues get sore, loosen, and break down as you cycle hard and you can repair this by eating right. 20 grams of protein is what you need ideally to set the repairing process which you can get from foods like banana smoothie, almonds, apricots, etc. You can speak to your dietician for an exact and precise diet that you can follow. Glucose and fructose mixture in the ratio of 2:1 also works as an energy booster and speeds of repair of muscles. Professional cyclists are advised to talk to their nutrition experts on this.

It is especially important if you are cycling to lose weight. It is a big question before people who cycle to lose weight as they get stuck between weight and the need for replenishment.  A dietician will tell you to balance your food intake and show you ways to balance it right. Balanced diet will help you keep in shape and attain weight loss goals without feeling loss of energy. When diet suffers it affects one’s health and that leads to a whole lot of other problems.

People attribute their feeling weak to exercise and the fact that they are losing weight, where as this is a wrong symptom to surface. At no time you should feel so week, lethargic or unwell. If during your exercise this is happening, seek professional help.

Dieticians will advise you to consume food with low GI rather than high GI to those on weight losing spree. Instead of snacking, go for proper balanced meal to get your calorie intake and get rolling.