Fuelling Your Body for Cycling

Keeping your body in optimal shape is essential to perform at your best as a cyclist. Exercising regularly, weight training and building up endurance is necessary for every cyclist. Improving your nutrition, however, is just as important. There are many foods that will help you stay in shape and keep your body operating at its best.

Green or Black Tea

Scientists have discovered that the extract from black and green tea leaves help alleviate soreness in athletes and helps speed muscular recovery. If you are cycling in intervals, drink unsweetened black or green tea just before a ride to lessen the pain and soreness that many cyclists feel after a ride.

Add Carbs for Energy

While many cyclists load up on carbs for energy before a race, nutritionists suggest against a binge on carbs in the hours leading up to a racing event. They suggest increasing carbohydrates in the days before the event for the maximum impact. Besides the carbohydrate favorites such as pasta, cyclists can enjoy high carbohydrate foods such as fruit, yogurt and chocolate milk.

Salmon and Tuna

Salmon and tuna are not only great for energy, but they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which aid in muscle building. Omega 3 fatty acids have been known to increase blood flow, which helps to remove toxins from the body. Canned tuna in water is also a great source of energy that will fuel your cycling workout. Avoid meats with high fat content that will slow you down and make you sluggish during your rides.

Eat Small and Often

Sports physiologists recommend eating small meals often to keep energy levels high and to stave off hunger. Cycling requires a lot of energy from the body. If you go too long between meals, you will be tempted to eat larger portions of unhealthy foods. Eating a small meal just before and after a ride causes your body to use the food instead of your muscles for energy.

Berries and Cherries

These antioxidant foods are essential for rebuilding muscles and repairing small muscle tears after a workout. Berries are naturally low in fat and calories and provide you with energy without compromising your waistline. Berry juices like Acai berry have been known to aid in digestion and flush toxins from the system. Add berries to cereal, smoothies and yogurt for a healthy treat.

Colour Your Plate

Experts advise cyclists to aim for a rainbow when planning their meals. Red and pink foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon contain compounds that protect the skin against sun and cellular damage. Green foods like spinach, kale and broccoli are high in folic acid that protects the joints and spine. Orange and yellow foods such as carrots, squash, bananas and sweet potatoes boost the immune system, allowing you to fight off illness that will keep you from cycling. Improving your diet for cycling requires knowledge of how the body functions and what foods keep it at its peak. By adding in healthy foods, you will enjoy optimal nutrition to fuel your rides.

Darren is a Professional Cyclist and Manager of one of the best bicycle shops in Melbourne, Australia. Being a professional cyclist, he knows the importance of getting your diet right for cycling.