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To eat or not to eat during a ride?

Thinking about this question means you are now a cyclist ready to burn the miles and some calories


Eating right is a crucial aspect for any sport and more so for cycling. Once you start cycling, the love of covering long distance comes naturally. It is extremely important to include food as a key part of all your rides. You should plan in advance by keeping a track of weather, location, distance and your physical health.


Rides below 1 hour

These are short rides and the primary requirement is to carry fluids including water and energy drink to replenish lost minerals and salts from body. A safe bet is to carry 1 litre bottle of water and any energy drink of your choice.

If you are riding during summers, then keep couple of bananas and few biscuits to snack during or after the ride.


Ride from 1 to 4 hours

For these intermediate distance rides, in addition to replenish fluids, you also need to take care of carbohydrates requirement. Keep at least 2 litres of water and couple of good quality energy drink or electrolytes hydration drinks.

Make sure you eat carbs every one hour. Safe bet is to keep Bananas or Apple. And if you can eat, then chocolate bars are good options. Even if your body doesn't indicate the requirement, eat or drink every 45 mins to an hour. Especially summers in India can be very bad and in that condition, drink fluid every 30 mins or so.


Ride above 4 hours

These rides require special planning as you don't want to carry lot of stuff but also make sure to fulfill your body's essential nutrition requirements.

Carry 2 litre of water and two electrolyte drinks. ORS liquids or sachet or extremely helpful. Recommendation is to keep one sachet of ORS mixed in a bottle of water and drink a bit every 45 mins. If your general requirement is to drink more water then try to plan rides for a route where you can find a supermarket like 24by7 to buy water or energy drinks.

Keep your Carbs quota full with Bananas, other fruits, chocolates, protein bars. biscuits etc and eat something every one hour. Make sure you don't eat lot of quantity at once and rather have small portion every one hour or so.


Always remember, any ride, whether long or short requires planning for nutrition and maintaining balanced fluids in body. Keep riding and keep eating (good)!


Are you new to cycling and want to know where to start? Read this blog and get started.

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