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September 12, 2018

You don't have to be riding for Team Sky to benefit from taking your nutrition seriously. Proper nutrition is just as important for the weekend warrior who wants to shine on their long rides as it is for the pros. Fortunately you don't need a PHD in Sports Science to see an improvement, you just need to follow these four simple tips.

1. Get Ahead of Your Ride. 

Focusing on nutrition in the days before your 100 and on the morning of, is absolutely key to avoiding burn out when you get in the saddle. This doesn't have to be complicated either to be effective, just a 10 to 20% increase in calories and carbs a day or two before and a good breakfast is perfect! Avoid the urge to get carried away with this as carboloading is more likely to leave you feeling bloated than awesome.

2. Carbohydrate is King

Your body loves to use carbohydrates when the going gets tough, so make your muscle glycogen stores stay topped up. This starts off with the good breakfast that we mentioned above as sleeping can deplete your glycogen levels. Then once you get on the bike it is important to start eating and drinking early. Muscle glycogen stores only last around 90-120 minutes even for finely tuned elite athletes so keeping them topped up is essential. You should aim to consume between 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour through high quality sports nutrition. Solid foods (such as our Flapjacks) may result in less stomach problems during longer events but you must never use a new product on race day.  A tip is to set an alarm on your Garmin every 20 minutes to remind you to eat. This will ensure consistent fueling throughout your event.

3. Drink Up

Drink little and often, depending on the conditions and your output you want to be taking on between 500 - 1000 ml per hour through a lot of sips. You also need to replace some of the electrolytes you lose through sweat, especially in hot weather to help maintain your body’s natural balance.

And whatever you do don't be tempted to keep the weight down on your bike by limiting how much water you take out with you. Dehydration is a fast track to huge declines in performance, not to mention that it can be extremely dangerous.

4. Recover for next time


Most riders fall into one of two categories those who immediately want to consume everything in sight as soon as they get off the bike and those whose stomachs turn at the mere mention of food. If you are one of the former then make sure that the food at hand is going to be beneficial in helping you recover. 

 5. Enjoy it 

Even if you are a whiz on the bike and flying round the century in five hours, it's still a long time to be miserable. Take food and drink out with you that you know you're going to enjoy and most importantly look up from the road once in a while and take in the views.