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How is your nutrition during cycling?

  • by Ventus Performance Wear

Every cyclist should know what to eat before, during and after cycling, as it is a significant key to enjoy your ride without suffering more than necessary and below you will find out the correct diet for maximum performance.

There are two main questions:

  1. How many calories we should eat based on the duration and intensity of the bike ride.
  2. Examples of what we can eat during rides with detailed types of food, quantities and calories.

Did you know that when you are riding your bike, your metabolism needs fuel, just like a combustion engine in a car, but in this case it is fueled by fat and glycogen.

  • During hard workouts, at high intensity and approaching or exceeding your anaerobic threshold, you burn more glycogen than fat *.
  • During gentle workouts or going at a moderate pace below your anaerobic threshold, your body uses both glycogen ** and fat in equal proportions.

Our body always uses fat but the harder the workout, the more glycogen "fuels" our engine as it is the easiest and most efficient way to supply the muscles with energy.

* Don't worry about fat as a person with a normal body fat percentage (BFP) would have around 80,000-100,000 calories stored as fat in their body and that's enough to complete an Ironman Triathlon.

** There can be around 2,400 calories of glycogen stored in our skeletal muscles and liver, depending on the size of your body, your fitness level.

Riding Time

Calories Needed

When to take it

1-2 hours 100-200 calories from carbohydrates After the first hour
2-3 hours at a moderate pace 100-150 calories from carbohydrates  Every 1 hour
2-3 hours at an intense pace 200-250 calories from carbohydrates Every 1 hour
4-5 hours at a moderate pace 200-250 calories from carbohydrates Every 1 hour
4-5 hours at an intense pace 250 calories from carbohydrates Every 1 hour


Finally, let's look at some examples of carbohydrates you can take while cycling:

  • 1 Cycling bidon (500 ml) with 40 g of energy drink powder - 150 calories from carbohydrates
  • 1 Energy Gel (60 ml) - 100 calories from carbohydrates
  • 1 Energy Bar (40 g) - on average 150 calories, 120 from carbohydrates
  • 1 Banana (120 g) - 110 calories, 100 from carbohydrates
  • Dried fruit (25 g) - on average 220 calories, about 24 from carbohydrates
  • 1 Rice Cake (50 g) - 145 calories, 56 from carbohydrates

So, before your next ride, make sure that the tank is filled and you take supplements with you! Enjoy your ride! 

Move with the wind!

Tagged with: Nutrition

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