Tim's Tips: Eating

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The biggest food mistake recreational cyclists make is eating too much on short rides, says Allen Lim, chief of sports science and technology for Slipstream Sports. On rides that last less than two hours, leave energy foods at home. You're not burning enough to warrant the extra calories.

Eat complex carbohydrates with fiber and protein two-and-a-half hours before riding. Try oatmeal with yogurt and eggs, and steer clear of sugary foods like doughnuts. "They give you an insulin spike," says Lim. "Your blood glucose levels rise, and an hour later you get a sugar low and feel like total dung."

If you're riding long, don't try to subsist on energy gels, sports drinks and bars, which consist primarily of processed sugar and aren't meant for sustained energy. A savory snack, such as a turkey sandwich, provides a break for the palette and the stomach (remember, at lunchtime it's expecting a meal), as well as some needed protein and fat.

The ultimate on-bike snack: potatoes, which are an abundant source of potassium, sodium, fluid and carbohydrates.

So get your potato on and jump on the bike and ride.


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