Last year, my nutrition book, Fuel Your Ride: Complete Performance Nutrition for Cyclists, came out with Rodale Press. It was a huge undertaking to research and write, and man, did I learn a ton! Now, the ebook version is on a massive sale on Amazon for a few days, and to celebrate that, I wanted to share a couple of the tips that I picked up in the last couple years of diving deep into all things sports nutrition-related. There have been countless hours of interviews, reading papers and journals and other books, talking to pros, coaches and nutrition scientists, and boiling it down into principles and advice that are actually reasonable and possible to follow. So…
Hydration is the First Thing to Go
I keep reading that most of us are mildly dehydrated most of the time, and I believe it. When I’m traveling or in any kind of hectic environment (read: most days), drinking enough water was the first thing that I stopped doing. You probably don’t drink enough on the bike, but it’s even worse if you’re not drinking OFF the bike as well! So, don’t leave hydrating for in-ride, get on it steadily, all day long.
Veggies at Every Meal
My best travel tip is simple, when it comes to nutrition: make sure every single meal gets a serving of veggies into it, no matter what. (My cheat is to do greens powder if all else fails, but I really do aim for a steamed veggie when possible.) So, even if you’re dead set on the burger and fries, get a side of broccoli, or at least a side salad. Your digestive tract will thank you.
… And a Protein
Like the veggies, I also realized in the last few years that making sure each meal has a serving of protein in it is HUGE. I definitely get a little carb-heavy when left to my own devices, so it’s been a big switch to make sure that even if it means drinking a protein shake with whatever else I’m eating, like fruit or oatmeal or cereal, I’m getting a dose of around 20 grams of protein at every single meal. Huge for rebuilding and repairing muscle post-workout, but also super important for helping you feel fuller longer.
Schedule Treats Around Workouts
This is my best advice for riders looking to lose weight but unwilling to give up cookies. Instead of binging at night, try to time your indulgences around your ride—before, during OR after—and that way, your body can actually use the food to refill your glycogen stores.
Have 2-3 Go-To Recipes
We’re on the road a ton, and despite not having kids to feed—just the two of us—we can run into crunch time later in the day, especially when we’re both tapping away on our computers. So, we have some automatic go-to meals that we always have on hand. Grass-fed ground beef is always in the freezer, and we always have sweet potatoes, greens of some time, and tomatoes/cilantro/lime juice/avocados. Those are our staples. So, if we’re in a pinch, we’ll toss beef and potatoes in the oven, steam spinach, and whip up a fast pico de gallo/guac combo. Boom: protein, veggies, complex carbs and healthy fat. Having a couple go-to recipes for those moments saves you from the “let’s just go out tonight” moment.
Want a ton more useful advice? The Fuel Your Ride ebook will be on sale for just $2.99 from 8/25 to 8/30 on Amazon, so grab a copy—or gift one to a rider who needs it—today!
Athletes know that proper nutrition is important, but finding the right balance can be complicated. Fuel Your Ride is a comprehensive guide to performance nutrition for cyclists and provides all the tools you need to customize a unique nutrition plan to achieve maximum performance. This book teaches riders everything from what to eat on race day to avoid the dreaded bonk to how to lose weight while consuming enough nutrients and power hard training rides. Fuel Your Ride combines the expert advice of numerous nutritionists, coaches, and professional cyclists to present a simple, clean, and whole foods approach to eating complete with easy-to-follow recipes that include delicious and nutritious vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
In addition to chapters on in-exercise food and hydration, supplements, and weight loss, special attention is placed on what to eat and the best time to eat, taking into account the different nutritional requirements for training rides, race performance, and recovery. Fuel Your Ride provides cyclists with the comprehensive nutritional information you need to efficiently power your rides and perform at your very best.
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