Julia's nutrition tips #3: What to eat during your ride - Bike Magic

Bike Magic - Mountain Bike News, Videos and Reviews. Keep up with the latest Biking Gear, Events and Trail Guides at BikeMagic.


**How To

Julia’s nutrition tips #3: What to eat during your ride

Do you want to be able to ride your bike every day? To be able to enjoy each ride without feeling tired? To recover quickly and be ready to ride again quickly? 

Julia Revitt, our in-house nutritionist, is back with a third lesson in nutrition to help make your bike rides more fun, frequent and easy. This time, what to eat when you’re out riding.


Words: Julia Revitt
Photo: © Julia Revitt

This is the third article in a six part series that shows you what, when and how much to eat and drink to optimise your riding. In this post we look at what to eat whilst out of the trails.

Find yourself struggling when you’re out on a long ride? Or maybe you just get a bit of a hunger on a short ride? Julia is back with a quick and simple lesson.
Photo © Julia Revitt

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the unpleasant symptoms from not eating enough while out.  There you were, happily riding along, about two hours into a four hour ride, suddenly your legs feel like lead, you just want to get home or back to the car as quickly as possible, your riding partner begins to look like a bacon sandwich!

If you are planning to ride for more than an hour then you’ll need to consume some carbohydrate to keep your muscles fuelled to get you back. For less than an hour you don’t ‘need’ to eat but if you find you are hungry any of the suggestions below contain a healthy boost of carbohydrate.

Nutrition during riding

You should experiment with different foods and drinks while you are riding. You want to aim to consume between 100 – 250 Calories (25g – 62g carbohydrate) per hour after the first hour of riding.

Try any of the suggestions below (each contain 50g of carbohydrate):

  • 1 litre of a carbohydrate sports drink (based on SiS PSP 22 drink)
  • 1 energy gel
  • A banana + half a litre of a carbohydrate sports drink
  • A small box of raisins + handful of nuts (anything except salted & dry roasted peanuts)
  • Packet of Starburst fruit chews
  • An apple and a big handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 oatcakes and a small chunk of cheddar
  • Small flapjack (see recipe below)

These suggestions are all easy to carry, not sticky and won’t melt in your pocket. All you have to do is remember to pack them and remember to eat them!

You will need to experiment to see which works best for you – perhaps you find that a banana just sits uncomfortably in your stomach or sweets make you feel sick. Try some different foods to see if your performance or comfort during training improves.

Flapjack is a totally delicious way to fuel your riding. They’re cheap to make and last for ages. So get your pinny out and start cooking – I’ll even let you lick the spoon!

Flapjack recipe

Makes 16 – 20

  • 175g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 250g rolled oats
  • 80g nuts
  • 20g mixed seeds
  • 100g dried fruit
  • 20g flour

Heat your oven to 180c, gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm x 20cm tin. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan over a gentle heat until liquid. Remove from heat and while it’s cooling, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the contents of the pan over the dry ingredients and mix.  Pour mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15minutes. Score into bars and leave until completely cold before turning out. Cut into bars, store in an airtight container and enjoy.

If you find the flapjack stick to the tin too much, try cooking it for less time or line the tin the non-stick baking parchment paper.

Stay tuned for what to drink when out on the hot dusty trails… (Or even the wet, muddy ones.)



Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.