If you’re going to ride a bike for hours on end, you need to eat. The folks at Hammer Nutrition gave us a lot of really good information for a series of blog posts we did last year. One went into detail about how much you should eat and drink on a ride and the other talked about the best way to eat for recovery. If you missed them, take a look.
But what about nutrition when you’re off the bike? Should you really be eating mountains of pasta and carbs? Must you forgo your Vegan (or Paleo or gluten-free or whatever) regimen to become the ultimate cyclist? According to Bicycling Magazine, you can fuel your body for cycling on pretty much any “diet” so long as you eat clean.
The definition of eating clean will vary depending upon whom you ask, but it generally means choosing unsaturated fats (olive oil, fish oil, nuts, natural peanut butter, etc.), plenty of healthy protein (eggs, fish, lean meat) and carbs that come mainly from fruits and veggies. It also means cutting back on things like refined sugar, saturated fats, wheat and dairy.
With the amount of training you should be doing by now, simply eating clean will probably lead to weight loss if you’re packing a few extra pounds. This is a far better way to go than putting yourself on a crash diet, which is something most trainers recommend against when getting ready for something like Cycle Oregon.
Have you found a nutritional plan that works for you? Or one that doesn’t? Feel free to share.