Cycling Nutrition Guide

Cycling is not just about the right gear and a well-maintained bike; it also requires proper nutrition to fuel your body for those long rides.

Whether you're a casual rider or a serious cyclist, understanding the importance of nutrition can enhance your performance and overall well-being.

This Cycling Nutrition Guide will provide you with valuable insights into how Active Root can optimize your cycling experience.

Pre-Ride Fueling

How to fuel before a bike ride?

Before hitting the road, focus on consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal 2 to 3 hours before. This could include pasta, rice, or whole grains. Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source and will help fuel your muscles during the ride.

How to hydrate before a bike ride?

Begin your ride well-hydrated by drinking water with our ElectroLite drink mix 2 to 3 hours leading up to your ride. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased performance, so ensure you start with a good fluid balance.

If you anticipate a hot day, consider having a hydration drink the night before your ride for added preparation.

We would suggest the Lemonbalm ElectroLite+ as it contains twice the amount of sea salt (800mg) as standard ElectroLite, so it’s perfect for those rides where you’re going to sweat and need to rehydrate on the go. Lemonbalm is also PH neutral, tastes delicious and masks the salty taste often found with rehydration drinks.

During-Ride Fueling

How to fuel a bike ride?

Pack easily digestible snacks from our range like energy drinks, energy chews, or energy gels to keep your energy levels stable during the ride, as well as bananas. These snacks provide a quick source of carbohydrates.

We would recommend our Sports Drink Mix, Energy Chews and Gel Mix as a starting point if you’re new to the nutrition game! All of our nutrition range contains the optimum amount of ginger to keep your stomach settled whilst also delivering natural hydration and delicious taste.

It's recommended to have 2 x 750ml bottles on your bike, one with Sports Drink Mix and one with an Electrolite drink mix.

Aim to take on 30g to 90g of carbohydrates per hour to sustain your energy levels.

Our Gel Mix formula helps calm nausea and gastrointestinal distress, so you can push through intense efforts without uncomfortable side stitches or indigestion. This innovative performance fuel powder packs 24g of easy-to-digest carbs per serving to deliver steady, smoothly sustained energy when you need it most.

We recommend using two 170ml soft flasks with gel mix which will be 3 servings per flask. You can sip your gel more gradually rather than having to take it in one meaning less chance of those blood sugar spikes.

If you are not keen on taking on gel mix then there are alternative fuelling methods. 

You could take on fuel using our popular energy chews - they offer a rapid energy boost and replenish essential fluids with electrolytes. Every chew delivers around 6g of carbohydrates, 50mg of sea salt, and 140mg of stomach-soothing ginger.

For a quick energy boost, eat 6 pieces per hour during activity. Always follow consumption with a drink of water or sports drink.

How to hydrate during a bike ride?

Carry our Electrolite drink and sip regularly during your ride. Dehydration can affect your endurance and concentration, so it's crucial to replace lost fluids.

Even for shorter rides, it's always recommended to take on electrolytes to replenish essential minerals lost through sweating.


Post-Ride Fueling

How to recover after a bike ride?

After a ride, prioritize protein-rich foods to aid muscle recovery. Lean meats, dairy products, or plant-based protein sources like beans and tofu can contribute to repairing and rebuilding muscles.

Additionally, consider having a recovery drink or protein bar within 30 minutes after your ride to maximize your recovery.

We would suggest our Hot Recovery Drinks range for a complete recovery after your ride!

How to rehydrate after a bike ride?

Continue to hydrate post-ride to replenish the fluids lost during cycling. Water or a recovery drink with electrolytes can be beneficial.

A well-hydrated body supports recovery and prepares you for your next ride.

What to eat after a bike ride?

Aim for a balanced post-ride meal that includes a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. This can help replenish glycogen stores and support overall recovery.

General Cycling Nutrition Tips

Listen to your body!

Pay attention to hunger and energy levels. Everyone's nutritional needs are different, so adjust your intake based on the intensity and duration of your rides. Understanding how your body responds to different foods and adjusting accordingly will contribute to improved performance.

Plan ahead

Prepare and plan your meals and snacks in advance, especially for longer rides. Having a nutrition strategy can help you stay energized and focused on your cycling goals. Consider experimenting with different foods during training to find what works best for you, ensuring a well-prepared and enjoyable cycling experience.

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Cycling: FAQs

What should I eat before a ride?

Before hitting the road, focus on consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal 2 to 3 hours before. This could include pasta, rice, or whole grains. Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source and will help fuel your muscles during the ride.

What types of food and drink should I consume during a ride?

We would recommend our Sports Drink Mix, Energy Chews and Gel Mix as a starting point if you’re new to the nutrition game! All of our nutrition range contains the optimum amount of ginger to keep your stomach settled whilst also delivering natural hydration and delicious taste. Aim to take on 30g to 90g of carbohydrates per hour to sustain your energy levels. These digestible snacks from our range, combined with snacks such as bananas, keep your energy levels stable during the ride and provide a quick source of carbohydrates.

What is the best way to stay hydrated on rides?

Carry our Electrolite drink and sip regularly during your ride. Dehydration can affect your endurance and concentration, so it's crucial to replace lost fluids. Even for shorter rides, it's always recommended to take on electrolytes to replenish essential minerals lost through sweating. Aim to consume 500ml to 1,000ml of fluid per hour depending on weather, intensity and individual sweat rate. Pay attention to signs of dehydration like headache, cramping or dark urine. Additionally monitor your weight before/after rides to gauge hydration needs.