The Best Foods for Cyclists

The Best Foods for Cyclists
Eating properly is essential to a your health as a cyclist, making rides more enjoyable and helping your body work to its full potential. Filling your gas tank with healthy ingredients helps muscles fire properly, assist blood chemistry, and transport oxygen to muscles. Eating unhealthy foods can slow you down and make your ride less enjoyable, whereas eating healthy foods can speed you up, letting you spin more efficiently and coast down the road to healthy living.

Bananas

These yellow gems are full of carbohydrates and electrolytes that make your muscles work efficiently. Vitamin B6, a vitamin that helps oxygenate muscles, is also found in this roadside treat. They also have a higher glycemic index than most fruits, which means they are converted to energy faster than other fruits. Bananas are considered by many--including Andy Hampsten, previous winner of the Tour of Italy--to be the perfect cycling food. Just don't throw the peel onto the road when you are done eating.

Peanut Butter

Either on a sandwich or spread over some fruit, peanut butter holds slow-burning fuel that will keep your stomach satisfied over your ride. A good source of protein and fiber, this snack has 30 essential nutrients that will help your legs power up hills and through valleys. Peanut butter is also filling, so it will ward off hunger while your ride.

Pasta

A whole grain pasta with a healthy sauce is an excellent source for carbohydrates. Whole grain pasta has more fiber, vitamins and minerals than traditional pasta. It is also absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly than regular pasta and gives a gradual release of energy to fuel your body during your ride. Pasta has been a long-time favorite the night before a bike race, letting cyclists carbo-load pre-flight. Avoid heavy or creamy sauces as they can be unhealthy.

Energy Bar

An excellent choice for quick access and energy while riding, energy bars provide exactly what they claim: quick energy. Cyclists need to re-energize while riding, biting into one of these bars will tap into some quick energy to help jump start your system and propel you down the road. Easy to eat and store, it's no wonder energy bars are a popular food for biking.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit has more sugar than regular fruit because the sugar condenses as it dries, making more of it in the dried version. Dried fruit is also high in vitamin C, and a good choice for biking because it can be easily stored and quickly accessed on the road. This snack also holds up well when packed and won't crush or crumble like other snacks.

Article Written By Rob Holzman

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Rob Holzman has been writing outdoor articles since 1997. He recently published the first comprehensive rock climbing guidebook for Pennsylvania and has fiction work published in the "Pacific Northwest Inlander". Holzman has also appeared on FOX television and has been an outdoor consultant for the Discovery Channel.

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