Nutrition and Diet Tips for Cyclists

Cycling is a great physical exercise that can keep your physical and mental being healthy. There are two sets of cyclists, one who enjoy cycle rides now and then and the other who are deeply engaged in cycling regularly. If you are among the latter group, you would want to know about the diet. It is essential to follow a nutritious diet that will contribute to energy. You must focus on carbohydrates and protein-rich foods and enough fluids to improve your diet for cycling. You must also contact a general physician in Mumbai who can suggest to you the right way to go about your diet according to your physical health.

Cycling Nutrition and Diet Plan for Cyclist

Before starting with the diet tips, take a look at the nutrition proportion that must be present in a cyclist diet:

  • Pre-Ride: It must comprise light protein and hydration – scrambled egg, porridge, half water, and half fruit juice
  • During Cycling: When you are cycling, you need to fill your body with carbohydrates. You can think about carb-based energy bars. There are plenty of energy bars available.
  • Post-Ride: Right after you finish your cycling, your body must get its protein and carbohydrates in the form of recovery bars, dry fruits, and nuts.

Now let’s try to prepare these meals and prepare a healthy, nutritious diet for you.

Pre-Ride Meal

It is the most important meal of your entire day. A Pre-ride meal is your breakfast, but the same rule will apply to any part of the day before your cycling.

This meal must be high in glycogen and enriched with hydrated food. A pre-ride meal should also be easy to digest so that your body has all the energy soaked up for an energized cycle ride. If you are going to participate in a cycle race, it would be better to take a lighter meal.

Food with a combination of protein and carbohydrates are good to go. For instance, fructose from the juice and half water will rightly hydrate and provide carb to your body.

You can rely on scrambled egg, wholemeal toast/bagel, unsweetened yoghurt, or porridge for the light source of protein. Staying hydrated is an integral part of this meal plan.

During The Ride

Now comes the most challenging part when your body needs energy but not a full-fledged meal. For this, energy bars come in handy. It would help if you stuffed your bag with essential energy bards that you can chew on your rides.

If you are involved in high-intensity training and hill rides, it would be better to take breaks in-between and take your carbohydrates. Many energy bars comprise caffeine content that is good for energy-on-the-go during cycling sessions.

In case you are preparing for longer rides that will last for hours, it would be better to start eating after the first 20 minutes of your ride. It is a good nutrition strategy that will go a long way. Check your flavours and stock your favourite energy bars for the ride.

It is also advised to do rehearsal rides before you appear for the actual session. It will help you create a routine of eating breaks and how to get your body familiar with it.


Once you have finished your ride and got back to your home, it is the time when your body needs nutrition recovery. Whether you are returning from a short or long ride, the nutrition recovery will remain the same. The first 30 minutes post your ride is called the replenishment window or, better, a glycogen window. It is the time when your body replenishes the glycogen store and re-builds muscle damages from cycling.

The golden ratio of 3:1 of carbohydrates and protein is the best way to treat this period. 3-parts carbohydrates and 1-part protein is the correct measurement as your body does not need much protein during the recovery period.

In this phase, you can think about consuming energy bars with the correct composition of this nutrition.

Additional Tips for A Good Cycling Diet

While the diet mentioned above plan strictly adhered to the cycling routine, there are plenty of other things you need to concentrate on.

#1 Get Right Amount of Calories

You must not either deprive or stuff yourself with calories. There should be a right balance of the calories you consume. As cycling is excellent for burning calories, you might lose a lot of weight from it, so you need to take adequate calories to maintain a healthy weight. A general thumb rule is to multiply your cycling distance by 40-50 calories. For instance, if you plan for 20 miles ride, the right calories will be 800-1000.

#2 Eat Natural Food

Stay away from packaged food as much as you can. If you want to stay healthy and hydrated, you need to start consuming natural food. Natural food is richer in minerals, fibres, and vitamins that are easily absorbed by your body. Prepare your meal from scratch to get its natural essence in your diet.

#3 Go for Good Fats

All fat is not your enemies; there are good fats as well that your body needs. Polyunsaturated fats and mono-saturated fats are the ones your body needs. Omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9 fats are highly beneficial fats. You can find them in oily fishes, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.

#4 Stay Lose to Vitamins and Minerals

Never forget the consumption of vitamins and minerals that will support your cycling endeavours. Add as many veggies and fruits to your diet as you can to get a regular supply of vitamins and minerals in your diet. It will also strengthen your immune system.

Being a cyclist is not an easy task; you need to look after your diet and keep your body ready for exhaustion. By following these diet tips, you can complete your cycle trips with power-packed energy.

You can use several health tracking apps to manage your health. Bajaj Finserv Health has been helping people managing their health services in a better way.

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