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10 Nutritious and Delicious Meal Ideas for Cyclists

As we all know, cycling is a challenging and demanding sport. Fuelling properly for exercise is vital for any sport to get the most from your training. The primary fuel for any activity is a carbohydrate stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Unfortunately, the body can keep only a small amount of carbohydrates, which is why it’s essential to start your exercise topped up.

This article will show you our list of the top 10 meals for cyclists. We are talking about the meals on the days before your big ride, especially your last meal. Usually, this will be the dinner the night before your big day. It’s crucial to know that you should always allow at least 2-4 hours after a meal before cycling for any large meal like the ones we list here.

We will not discuss the food you should drink during your ride, like energy sports gels, etc.

Let’s start with the best meals:


1.Penne with Chicken and Feta

Penne with tomato sauce and cheese

This is an excellent meal because of the balance between carbohydrates and protein. It’s not too spicy, and it’s very delicious. Penne with chicken and feta is also recommended by The British Cycling Federation, which should mean something. The full recipe is available in this beautiful recipe card. 


2.Roasted Salmon Fillets with Vegetables

salmon with vegetables

We all love salmon fillets right. Salmon is such a great and delicious fish. This meal is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid – which are essential for cardiovascular health—also a good source of muscle-building protein. For the vegetables, I recommend aubergine, spinach, potatoes, and asparagus. The combination of the roasted salmon fillets and the vegetables is quite suitable for any cyclist.


3.Red Thai Chicken Curry

red Thai chicken curry with rice

Another one from the recommendation list of the British Cycling Federation. Chicken and rice is a combination that should always be on your list. This recipe is a super healthy version of this combination and is easy to cook.  Here you can find the recipe card. 


4.Lasagne Bolognese

Lasagne Bolognese

Let’s get back to the pasta. In Yes Cycling we are big fans of the pasta and there is a very good reason for that. It’s easy to digest, a great balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Also, it’s low in fat and delivers quick energy in the form of super easy to digest carbohydrates. One of our favorites is the Lasagne Bolognese. And this recipe from Jamie Oliver for Gold old lasagne is just outstanding. 


5.Cheese Omelette

Omelete for cyclists

An omelet is always a great choice to have in addition to your breakfast before a big ride or for a recovery meal right after you get home after such a ride. Cheese omelet is such an excellent classic meal. As Jamie Oliver says: “This is a great quick meal at any time of the day.” Eggs are a fantastic, affordable source of protein, helping our muscles to grow and repair and helping us to feel fuller for longer. Serve your omelet with wholemeal bread and a simple tomato salad for a healthy, balanced meal.


6.Chilli Con Carne

Chili Con Carne Road Cycling

Chilli con Carne is just a perfect meal after a long cold winter ride, warming you up and delivering outstanding amounts of protein to recover. It’s also a good meal for the night before your big ride. It’s essential to make it just a little spicy.  Combining the chili con carne with pita bread makes it a better meal.


7.Neapolitan Pizza

Napoletan Pizza

Pasta and pizza are coming back to our list again and again. Italians are good in cycling and this is a very interesting correlation to think about. Any kind of pizza is a great meal for cycling. There is even a pizza diet for cyclists, which is quite interesting, and there are people following it.  Neapolitan pizza is the original pizza. Period!  It has a history that dates back to 18th century Naples, Italy. The traditional Neapolitan pizza is a flatbread with tomatoes, cheese, olive oil, and garlic. Today there are more variations of that Neapolitan pizza, but it is still the best.


8.Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella

Salad Tomatoes Mozarella

This is one of the best salads you can add to your main dish for the night before a big ride. Tomatoes are very delicious in the summer, and they are rich in lycopene and antioxidants. Also, they are loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. As a rule of thumb, you should eat as many different colored vegetables as possible. The mozzarella is very rich in proteins and calcium but also very calorie-dense.


9.Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

The fish tacos recipe is straightforward, with plenty of lean protein and fresh ingredients. It’s an alternative meal if you want to change a few of your standard meals. You can find the full recipe here. 


10.Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Another great recipe for a meal before any big day of long-distance cycling. The combination of chicken and potatoes is just a classic—a perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins. The caramelized sweet potatoes are so delicious that we can eat even two portions of this meal. You can find the full recipe here. 

Best Meal For Cyclists

I hope you’ve enjoyed our great list of the top 10 best meals for cyclists, but remember that you should always supplement your food with some food supplements for cyclists.

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