ON THE BIKE NUTRITION
Nutrition before, during and after the bike is important. Fueling your body correctly is not only good for you physically, but also the mental side of activities. If you aren’t set up for success it will be hard to perform your best. Once your tank of fuel is empty, everything can go downhill from there. When you are hungry and tired you are subject to brain fog and then more likely to get injured. Fueling your body right for what it needs will reduce injury. No one wants to be hungry, tired, or have the possibility of getting hurt when you’re doing something fun.
There are many different types of products and brands to eat, drink and fuel your body with. You can eat whole foods or sport specific products. These would include drink mixes, goo’s, gels, blocks, chews, and all different kinds of bars.
BEFORE THE RIDE
Eating before is essential. Whether it’s a meal at least 30 minutes-1 hour before or a pre-activity intake like some gels or granola bar. For longer/harder rides, eat something every hour during your activity. This way throughout the day you are refilling that fuel tank. Having something in your bottle mixed, like Carbo Rocket or Hammer Perpetuem, is also a good idea. These two drinks have more substance to them to fuel you. If it's a shorter/lighter ride you may just need something like Skratch hydration or Hammer electrolyte drink in a bottle. These will replace what you have lost but not necessarily give you a ton of fuel.
There are multiple places while riding to have nutrition; on body or on bike. Body will be in a back pack or fanny pack, in a liner, short, bib, jersey, or jacket pockets. On the Bike will be in a water bottle or frame bag. Personally, when I'm riding my mountain bike, I stash my snacks in my hip pack. But while on gravel rides, I usually have a bib or jersey that has pockets in the back and something in one of my two water bottles. I do it this way because my gravel milage is longer and not having a pack is way more comfortable. I also have two water bottle cages where I can have water in one and hydration or fuel in the other. Compared to my mountain bike which only has one water bottle spot. On my mountain rides, I’m making bigger movements, descends, and jumps and don’t want any chance of my snacks falling out, so I wear a hip pack.
A great brand for everyone is ProBar. ProBar was started by a man who lives in Utah and was very active. He realized the importance of fueling the body so he started looking for good products. He found a locally made bar but it tasted like cardboard, so he decided to make his own. Since then, ProBar has taken off. All of their ingredients are from real whole foods that also taste great. Their products are gluten-free, organic, plants based, non-GMO, and kosher.
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Another great brand out there is Skratch Labs. They stand by making products that will not upset the stomach and taste good too. Dr. Allen Lim is a sports scientist and professional coach. He started making his own food and drinks for his athletes when everything available wasn’t very good for you and tasted horrible. He was able to work with his athletes and his knowledge of science to make the products we have today.
No matter how you do your nutrition, it is personal. Everyone has different stomachs, taste buds and is doing different types of riding. It may take some time to figure out what works for you and what you like. Once you discover it, you’ll have much more eagerness and excitement about going to ride.
written by tamra hunt
Tamra started mountain shortly after moving to Utah and hasn’t stopped since, whether it’s tails, bike parks or gravel roads. She is a rider care specialist in the Cedar City shop. This summer she is planning to start racing enduro on her Santa Cruz Hightower.