Cycling has never been more popular, with fans loving the freedom it offers to escape the hordes on their commute to work, as well as the choices available when it comes to using cycling as exercise.
You might be a hardened mountain biker, looking for some gnarly off road trails. Or a member of a road cycling club looking to up your game on Strava.
Or perhaps your family have just decided to get fitter together and explore the local area in more detail.
Whatever your motivation, there is no denying that cycling gets you fitter, healthier and happier.
And did you know that at Holland & Barrett, we stock a wide range of nutritional products, ideal for use as cycling nutrition, which can help assist with this process?
What is the best cycling nutrition?
At first glance, the wide range of cycling foods and nutritional supplements can look a little daunting. What should your ideal cycling diet look like? What kind of cycling nutrition do you need during a ride?
The truth is that it does not need to be complicated. Because unless you are planning to ride one of the Tours for Team INEOS, you do not need to make drastic changes to your diet simply to enjoy a day out riding your bike.
That said, if improving on your current performance is important to you, then you may want to consider some of the following options:
BCAA Powder to help intra workout performance.
As with any exercise, it is important to make sure that you take on the right amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to fuel your bike workouts and replenish your used energy.
Endurance athletes need extra carbohydrates to fuel their rides, fat to feel satiated and protein to support muscles, post-workout.
Intra workout amino acids are a great way to support your fitness goals. As essential amino acids, BCAA intra workout supplements directly target your muscles to help maintain and build muscle efficiently.
PE Nutrition Performance BCAA Powder Fruit Punch is an essential amino acid complex, which helps to grow your workout potential.
This refreshing drink provides 5g of BCAAs per 6g serving in a tasty tropical fruit punch flavour, with an industry standard ratio of 2:1:1 with amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Cycling energy gels
Cycling gels are a great way of easily replacing carbohydrates and giving you a much needed energy boost ahead of that next hill.
Designed especially for runners and cyclists, they weigh next to nothing and can be easily carried in the back of your jersey.
Take one (simply rip the top off and consume straight from the tube) about 15 mins before you need an energy hit - and you should see your pace really pick up.
So what are the best gels for cycling? Available in a range of flavours, we like SiS GO Energy + Caffeine Gel Cola, which delivers a rapid supply of easily digestible carbohydrates (21.5 grams per gel) for energy alongside 75 mg of caffeine per gel.
How to keep your electrolytes balanced
Keeping your electrolytes balanced whilst out cycling can be something of a challenge, especially during heavy exercise and hot weather.
One simple solution is to take Salt Stick Fastchews Tart Orange 60 Chewable Tablets, which are ideal for consumption during long lasting physical activity or very hot conditions.
Two SaltStick Caps in an hour equate to 430 mg sodium, 126 mg potassium, 44 mg calcium, and 22 mg magnesium per hour - the perfect ratio to keep you moving.
If you plan a short ride at a leisurely pace, with frequent stops, then there is likely to be little call for high energy bars and carbohydrate replacement gels.
But if you are heading out for a hard day mountain biking on the fells, are looking to ride a couple of hours at a fast pace on a club run or are about to enter a time trial, then you might want to replenish lost energy with a cycling gel or an energy bar. Don’t forget that fruit, such as bananas, can also give you a much needed energy boost too.
You can read more advice about the best types of cycling nutrition for you in our Health Hub article Your guide to cycling nutrition.
You might also like to browse our article ‘5 reasons why bike exercise is good for you (+ bike exercises).’
During your ride, as with any exercise, it is incredibly important to stay hydrated – whatever pace you are working towards.
So what are the best recovery drink for cyclists? We like particularly like SIS Go Hydro Tablets Lemon 20 Tablets.
These are effervescent tablets that easily dissolve in plain water – you can just drop one tablet in your 500ml water bottle, knowing that all your electrolyte and fluid requirements are met in one simple format.