Nutrition Plans-Cyclists


Is essential to maximize your performance and enjoyment. A number of factors need to be taken into account when preparing a plan. As well as individual variables much depends on the type and length of ride.

NUTRITION PLAN: recreational ride.

Nothing special before the ride. Just make sure you have a good meal and hydrate yourself.

The ride – Under 2 hours no extra food is needed.Over 2 hours snacks and or energy bar if you feel hungry

After the ride – Depending on the distance cycled a snack or meal
fluids – one water bottle per hour, more if the weather is hot


Social ride pace
You are riding within your comfort level
3 days before -A normal balanced diet
For rides longer than 2 hours, its necessary to snack to keep up energy levels. If you are going to be putting in more than 60% of maximum effort don’t eat a meal in the 4 hours before riding as it may upset your stomach.
4 hours before – Avoid fatty foods, you can eat a light carbohydrate meal up to 2 hours before the ride.
During the ride –  For rides over 2 hours replace calories burnt with a gel, bar or snack every  20 minutes.
After the ride -A snack containing high carbs 10 to 15 minutes  afterwards, This will help replace your energy and reduce muscle fatigue.
fluids – one water bottle per hour


For rides over 2 hours its necessary to replace calories consumed during the ride otherwise you will hit the wall.Bars,gels and electolyte drinks as well as food snacks .
A high carb meal 4 hours before the tide will top up your reserves.
3 days before ride-A  balanced diet with 50 – 70 % Calories from carbohydrates.Two days out increase your carbohydrate intake.

cycling endurance
4 hours before-Avoid fatty foods. A high carb meal within the 2 hour period is ok if the ride is moderate intensity.
during the ride – regular snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks to replace the estimated Calories burned per hour
After ride -A carb snack within 15 minutes and a protein/carb combination like chocolate milk within 30 to 60 minutes.This will help prevent muscle soreness. Eat a high carbohydrate meal that night after the ride. one water bottle per hour.


To get the best results in your ride your nutrition is essential. A top rider can lose 5% in performance from not following the best nutrition. What you eat everyday is going to impact on your raceday performance
For rides of less than  2 hours, no extra carbohydrates are needed during the race.
3 days before – A balanced diet with 50 – 70 % Calories from carbohydrates -600 grams per day of carbohydrates in the 2 to 3 days before the race.
4 hours before – Don’t eat in this window, it may result in stomach upsets.
5 minutes before -a GEL  or glucose sweet

The race

A liquid carbohydrate supplement should be used for all races especially longer ones. Regular snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks as soon as the event starts to replace the Calories.

After ride

A post ride carbohydrate snack,10 to 15 minutes afterwards, will restore energy reserves and may cut down on muscle soreness. Chocolate milk or other protein/carb snack within 2 hours. Eat a high carbohydrate meal that night to replace the muscle glycogen.
FLUIDS: One bottle of electolyte drink immediately after the race and one bottle water per hour.

To work out your individual requirements look HERE.


As you will be working to your maximum,an empty stomach is essential to avoid stomach upsets. You will also sweat more so  fluid replacement is essential. If this is a ride of less than 1 1/2 to 2 hours,no carb supplements are needed during the race.
3 days before – A balanced diet with 60-70% Calories mainly from carbs.
4 hours before – No eating
The ride:- For short interval rides,no extra carohydrates are needed.For longer sessions carbohydrate snacks at regular intervals are required.
After Ride -A carbohydrate snack,  10 to 15 minutes  afterwards, will repace energy reserves and may cut down on muscle soreness
Fluids – one water bottle per hour more if needed.


The same as the long training ride, but depending on the number of rides the demand on your reserves will be greater.  Eating a high carbohydrate meal each evening is essential to keep up your energy reserves or you will slowly become energy depleted and likely to bonk. If this is going to be a high intensity event  it is important to avoid eating in the 4 hour pre-ride interval to avoid stomach upset. But on days when the effort is only moderate that doesn’t matter. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal each day  4 hours before the ride will top up your energy reserves.
3 days before- Balanced meals with 50 – 70 % Calories from carbohydrates – 600 grams per day of carbohydrates in the 2 days before the rides.
4 hours before –  Eating during this interval is all right if the intensity of the ride is moderate,avoid fatty foods and eat a carbohydrate snack 2 hours before the ride. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal 4 hours before the ride.


Snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks every 30 minutes or less to replace calories being consumed.

After RIDE

-A carbohydrate snack,  10 to 15 minutes. Eat a high carbohydrate meal the night after the ride. Eat at least 500g more  per day than is required to replace calories consumed. Chocolate milk within an hour of finishing is good.
Fluid -One bottle of electrolyte immediately after the ride and one bottle of water per hour.

To work out more accurately your nutrition requirements look HERE

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