The more cycling you do, the more energy you will require. Foods high in protein, Vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, and some fats will keep your joints moving freely, and your body energized. One of the most important food choices you can make is to eat hydrating foods and drink plenty of water.
Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats, offers a bit of sodium and a high dose of magnesium. Magnesium can help you fight lactic acid build-up. You can stave off the hunger after a workout and boost your protein levels without breaking your budget.
Read more: Ghee vs Butter – Which is Better for Cyclists?
By adding avocado to your diet, you can boost your intake of healthy fats, lower your inflammation levels, and raise your fiber intake. Avocadoes are not high in sugar but provide a slow burn kind of energy that is a great choice for a long ride. Fix yourself avocado toast before a workout and pair it with fresh-squeezed juice for a natural energy boost.
Salmon is very high in protein and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. If you have a family history of heart disease, it’s critical that you boost your intake of omega-3’s to reduce the inflammation that can lead to artery damage and heart attack, particularly as you boost your cycling habit.
While milk chocolate can produce an excessive, sugary rush that leaves you exhausted, dark chocolate is delivered into the bloodstream at a slower rate so you can actually put it to work. Consider carrying dark chocolate on your next ride to give yourself a dose of energy when you take a break. This superfood is also extremely high in antioxidants.
Bananas offer cyclists a boost of simple sugars when they’re working their hardest. These highly portable fruits also offer athletes, in general, a big boost of potassium. When your muscles are working their hardest, you need plenty of potassium to prevent cramping. Combining bananas, water, a period of cooling down, and a healthy stretching session is a great way to reduce the risk of muscle soreness after a long ride or any hard workout.
Lean red meat is loaded with protein, which cyclists need for muscle growth and maintenance. The iron in red meat gives your blood the chance to be extremely efficient as it carries oxygen from your lungs throughout your tissues. Lean beef and lamb also offer athletes a full complement of B Vitamins, particularly B12. Finally, red meats offer athletes Omega-3 fatty acids. Not everyone is keen on fish. If you can avoid cured meats and work with the leanest cuts, red meat benefits are worth another look.
Like all nuts, almonds are high in fat. However, these are healthy fats that help you fight inflammation and protect your heart. By boosting your almond intake, you increase your levels of Vitamin E and the amino acid arginine. Because of their high protein levels, they’re an excellent tool to help you increase your endurance on long rides.
Whole oats offer a slow release of energy and power that can keep you going for miles. Even better, whole oats will warm up your core on a cold day. Pair them with nuts or seeds for fat, fresh or dried fruit for instant energy, and milk for protein and calcium before you get on the road for a long ride. Oats are the main component of porridge, the beloved by cyclist breakfast.
Put lentils to work after your next hard ride. These little powerhouses are easy on your budget, great for your gut, and wonderful in a post-exercise meal. They cook up easily and can be made into a yummy soup to help you rebuild after your workout session. The combination of antioxidants, protein, and carbohydrates found in lentils is a great way to build your energy back up.
Greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt because of the additional straining process. What that means for the cyclist is that you get twice the protein in each serving. It’s lactose-free for those who are sensitive. Greek yogurt is loaded with calcium to protect your bone strength, and it offers a bit of sodium to reduce the risk of post-workout cramps. Look for unsweetened Greek yogurt and pair it with whole-grain cereals and fresh fruit for a low-sugar, high protein, and energy snack after a workout.
When you need energy, make honey your go-to. Experts recommend using honey before a hard ride and during your breaks to boost your energy level. If you can ingest just 15 grams before you get on the road and every ten miles or so, you will enjoy more energy while you’re on the bike trail and stave off the post-workout energy crash that can limit the rest of your day’s activities.
Beets are high in water and can reduce your risk of dehydration. They’re also high in fiber. Additionally, beets contain antioxidants called betalains. In the body, betalains act to reduce inflammation. If you’ve ever struggled with post-workout soreness, you know how important it is to keep inflammation down to a manageable level. Beets deliver a bit of sugar to the body, staving off the “post-workout starvation” feeling that can lead to overeating.
While pickled, brined, and stuffed olives can be high in sodium, olives in their fresh state are very high in fiber and protein. Buy them in their most basic state and keep them in your refrigerator as a snack for an after-workout treat. While a big dose of salt from a stuffed olive is not a good choice, a bit of sodium after a workout can reduce the risk of cramping as you stretch out and cool down.
Eggs are filling, extremely high in protein, and loaded with nutrients. While anyone with a family history of high cholesterol may need to monitor their yolk intake, it’s not a good idea to always toss the yolk. The golden yellow center of the egg provides iron, zinc, and folic acid, all critical to muscle repair and cycling efficiency on a long ride. Those who worry about cholesterol skip the bacon and hash browns; eat the whole egg.
Strawberries are high in water and potassium, both of which are great protection against cramps. A full cup of strawberries also provides high fiber levels, which we all need to maintain gut health. These yummy berries also offer nitrate, which boosts the dispersal of oxygen around the body. Finally, strawberries are extremely high in antioxidants. Time on a cycle may expose you to environmental toxins, leading to free radicals in your bloodstream. Antioxidants latch onto these and carry them away.
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