Nutri­tion

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - Words: Zoe Wil­son Photos: Sourced

As the days get longer and a lit­tle warmer, so do our rides. Longer rides mean you need to have more food on board to make sure you get through them. Try some of these easy snacks that will fit in your jersey pocket and give you the fuel you need to keep pedalling all day.

NO PREP NEEDED

Keep it sim­ple and throw a ba­nana in your back pocket. No prep needed and packed with elec­trolytes like potas­sium and carbs for en­ergy, a good ba­nana can go a long way.

GO OLD SCHOOL

A sand­wich is an­other quick and easy real food op­tion for longer rides when you need some­thing solid to keep you sat­is­fied. Jam or honey is great for en­ergy; add a nut but­ter for some pro­tein; or go savoury with veg­emite to give your taste­buds a bit of va­ri­ety and your body some salt to re­plen­ish what you’ve sweated out.

GRAB AN EN­ERGY BAR

Ei­ther go for some­thing com­mer­cial that’s de­signed for sport (try a Clif bar, Win­ner s bar or High 5 En­ergy bar) or a some­thing more generic like a muesli bar or fruit and nut bar (take a look in the health food sec­tion of the su­per­mar­ket for a whole range to choose from).

NICE AND NAT­U­RAL

Pack a zi­plock bag with your favourite mix of fruit and nuts to snack on when you stop for a wa­ter re­fill. Dates are great as they’re higher in sugar, so you’ll get some more en­ergy. You can also choose salted nuts to re­place the salt lost when you sweat (es­pe­cially if you sweat a lot and end up with dried salt on your face).

DRINK UP

On a hot day, take a few elec­trolyte tabs to throw in your bot­tle when you re­fill. These won’t have carbs for en­ergy, but they will pro­vide you with sodium, potas­sium and mag­ne­sium to help re­duce cramp­ing and im­prove hy­dra­tion. Wrap them in foil to keep out the sweat.

SWEET EN­ERGY

On a longer or higher in­ten­sity ride, car­ry­ing some sports prod­ucts like gels or chews is a good idea. These prod­ucts are de­signed to give you fast en­ergy, and you can choose some with caf­feine for an added boost. You can get al­most the same re­sult with some lol­lies (e.g. snakes or red frogs), but you won’t be able to take as much be­fore you get gut trou­ble, so go easy on these.

GET BAK­ING

Make your­self some mini muffins. Ba­nana or ap­ple muffins make a great lit­tle snack when on the bike, and al­though they might get a lit­tle squashed, they don’t need re­frig­er­a­tion so travel pretty well. Use mini muf­fin tins and peel off the case and wrap them in foil or a zip lock bag be­fore you go so they’re eas­ier to eat while pedalling.

ROLL IT UP

Make your own pro­tein balls or grab one from your lo­cal su­per­mar­ket. Most have carbs from dried fruit and honey or maple syrup and pro­tein from nuts, but the tex­ture makes a nice change from a trail mix. If you’re mak­ing your own, roll them small (about 2 tsp per ball) so you can pop a whole one in your mouth as you’re rid­ing.

GO SAVOURY

Make a batch of Feed Zone rice cakes. Chef Alan Lim has cre­ated a mul­ti­tude of recipes for rice cakes es­pe­cially for cy­clists. The Feed Zone Porta­bles cook­book is the place to go to look for them. They’re made with real food (all are based on cooked rice), easy to eat and have been tried and tested on pro rid­ers. You just need to do a bit of prep work the night be­fore your ride.

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