Apart from being a fun outdoor activity, cycling is also a good workout. It works on the muscles of the legs, lower abdomen, and the upper abdomen. It is a good cardiovascular exercise and keeps the heart healthy for many years to come. However, it can also be considered a heavy workout. Cycling for hours can burn hundreds of calories and it is important to supplement it with proper nutrition. It serves the active riders well to take a controlled diet, so that they can increase their stamina and get more energy. The food will help them to cycle longer and enjoy it even more. Here is what the diet of a cyclist should include to get the best results.
Oatmeal and Healthy Carbs
Start the day with a bowl of oatmeal. This is a favorite among bike riders, primarily because oatmeal provides a slow but steady release of energy. An oatmeal breakfast does not result in a sugar spike instantly, but releases sustained energy that lasts for long rides. It can be eaten with sugar and fruits and some people even like it savory, with just some salt and pepper. Stay away from white flours and stick to carbs from whole grains.
Fish and High Quality Proteins
Fish are another perfect food for cyclists. Why? Because it is a rich source of muscle building proteins, which is needed after a strenuous cycling session. Fish are also a great source of fatty acids. If that isn’t enough, it also provides the riders with vitamins B and D as well as Selenium. Fish can be cooked in a million ways. It can be smoked, grilled, fried or even eaten raw. White meats, such as chicken breast, are great sources of protein.
Another breakfast favorite, eggs, can be prepared in many ways. Most cyclists prefer to eat it as omelet, because so many other healthy ingredients can be added to it. The eggs supply protein, while the veggies provide fats and the vitamins to the final cooked product.
Believe it or not, coffee is a desirable ingredient in the diet of the cyclists. It stimulates physical activity and performance. A small cup of strong coffee can do the job. However, be wary of the overly sweet, big helpings of coffee that will very quickly add weight to your body.
Vegetables, Especially Beets
Beets can be best put as a natural performance enhancer. They not only enhance the endurance of the cyclist, but also increases their blood flow, both of which are desirable on a track. Beets are easily available in raw form and packaged beet juice will work just fine too. Riders should also include fresh veggies to get a supply of vitamins and minerals.
Fruits are rich in nutrients and vitamins your body needs. They also have natural sugars for immediate energy sources. They are great for shakes when you are on the run or need a quick meal supplement or pick me up. Bananas are superfoods that can keep going and attentive. They are so many choices so take your pick from apples and oranges to peaches and mangoes.
The health benefits of nuts are not a secret. A rider’s diet can contain walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, but it is always better to have them in the raw form. Peanut butter and almond butter can be included in the diet too, but again, keep an eye on the calories.
Very low on calories and a great source of potassium, coconut water is really becoming a global favorite. Some riders even replace their water supply with coconut water during the rides because it keeps them hydrated while supplying nutrients to the body.
A rider has to remain healthy, so as to have the stamina for a long race. It is always desirable to eat foods high in vitamins and minerals. Fats and carbohydrates are not to be eliminated, but eaten in moderation to give the right amount of energy and not add the pounds to the weight.