We all love to ride our bikes right! If a 5km ride was so much much, a 50km ride must be ten times as much fun – that’s only if we get our fueling right. Hydration and Nutrition are two important things that we need to take care of to ensure we enjoy our riding.
Here are 5 of our top tips to help you fuel your ride.
TIP 5. DISCOVER WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new food/hydration products. It’s always exciting to try out a new bar or a gel, and discover that it really works for you. You can definitely try out new food items before, after and during the ride.
Dried fruits, dates, energy bars, and bananas are common items we consume while on the saddle. By trying new things, you get to figure out what works best for your body, and what tastes the best! Keep in mind that healthy and clean food options always work better than junk.
TIP 4. CARRY MORE WATER THAN YOU NEED
An uber important yet simple tip to ensure you never run out of this life-sustaining fluid. Water can be hard to find when you’re out in the middle of nowhere and are thirsty for a drink. A simple tip is to carry more water than required, then aim to finish it. Although this may add some extra weight to your bike, it will ensure that your hydration is always on point.
To follow this tip, you may need to get a bigger bottle that can hold more water or install another bottle cage on your bike.
TIP 3. ADD SOME ELECTROLYTES IN YOUR WATER
Adding some salts in the form of hydration tablets or electrolyte mixes always helps. Adding a pinch of salt and sugar to your water bottle is a super simple way to help your body in retaining the water that you drink and replenishing lost salts on the ride.
Always good to carry two water bottles on the bike, one with plain water and another one with electrolytes. This will ensure that you also have the regular water, in case you don’t always like the taste of salts and can hydrate normally.
TIP 2. EAT SOMETHING SIZEABLE BEFORE YOUR LONGER RIDES
It’s always important to grab a bite before you kick off your ride. Especially if you’re hitting longer distances.
While out attempting your first 50km ride (or longer), make sure that you have enough fuel in your system to last the ride. This means that you need to have eaten a good dinner the previous night, are well-rested, and have a good breakfast before you get started. Things like oats, rice or bread may work well for you.
Again, experimentation is key to understand what really works for you. Oats are highly recommended as they are a great source of carbohydrate, protein and other essential vitamins, that will keep you going on the bike. Make sure you eat at least half an hour or so before you start your ride. Riding on a full stomach is never fun!
TIP 1. KEEP SIPPING WATER EVERY 10 MINUTES OR SO
Hydration is one of the simplest aspects of a bike ride that we can control, but probably the trickiest one to get right. Studies show that just two percent dehydration can result in a significant loss in performance.
Make sure you grab your water bottle every now and then to keep your mouth moist. A nice way to achieve this is to drink water every time you reach a checkpoint along your route or to take a sip every time you see a yellow car. Make sure that your mouth is always moist, and you see an improvement in your performance.
There you go, folks. On the ride you need to follow this simple mantra – eat before you’re hungry and sip before you’re thirsty – and you should be absolutely fine. Experiment on smaller rides and enjoy the fine art of fuelling up your body to ride longer and harder.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I love riding my bike. Whether it’s a simple commute, a high-intensity road race, a jaw-grinding brevet, fixie rides thru packed Indian city or a kick-ass technical single track – I love it all. Apart from riding bicycles, I love being all geeky and know everything there is to know about bicycles, technology, bike fit, and service.
I started BUMSONTHESADDLE to share this passion for cycling.
DISCIPLINE: Partial towards MOUNTAIN BIKING but love it all
CURRENT BIKE(S): Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Tarmac, Pure Cycles Original
DREAM BIKE: S-Works Epic HT & S-Work Roubaix
OTHER PASSIONS: Technology, Photography, Baking, Travel, and Reading