Helping our guests get the most out of their cycling tour experience is paramount to our team. By eating well on tour, it can help your recovery, energy levels and even your immunity. These points have been put together by our team member Megan Reynolds who is a qualified Dietitian. This not intended to be a list of do’s and don’ts and is a general guideline for eating throughout the day on tour.
1. Ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids during the day. It sounds obvious but this is one area most of us could improve on:
– Start your day hydrated by drinking some water in your room and/or at breakfast
– Throughout the day, sip on fluids. Bear in mind you may need more when the weather is hot.
– Electrolytes are not necessary, however, they will help give you extra sodium and carbohydrate. You could try taking one water bottle and one electrolyte bottle especially when the weather is hotter or you have a particularly hard day ahead of you.
– Otherwise, water is the best fluid.
– The best way to tell if you are hydrated is that you have straw-coloured or yellow urine.
– If you choose to have a beer or wine when you finish your ride, ensure you have plenty of water beforehand and in between drinks.
2. Consistency is key. Ensure you eat consistently through the day:
– Eat frequent meals and snacks that include some carbohydrate and protein- Don’t wait until you are starving as your blood sugar has already dropped.
– Higher fat options are OK but if you have a sensitive stomach it can make some people feel nauseous and best to avoid (eg chocolate, pastries, biscuits, cakes, cheese). Try to aim for healthier fat options such as nut butter, nuts and seeds.
– Sports gels can also be a useful option for those who find it difficult to eat in between meals (ideally a mix of glucose and fructose).
– We need more protein after 40, especially when we are active to prevent muscle breakdown and improve performance. We have a fruit and nut mix available to you on tour to help you eat some protein during the day and a variety of protein sources available to you during picnics and meals.
– Our nutrition partner Veloforte have some delicious and nutritious energy bars which we also have available on tour for our guests which offer the right mix of nutrients for cyclists. They have the added bonus of being gluten and dairy free so are suitable for those with dietary requirements. Some options are also vegan.
3. Good News! Caffeine/coffee is ok in moderation
– Caffeine can help us on the bike by reducing our perception of pain and effort (always useful when you have a day of climbing ahead).
– Generally, acceptable guidelines are between 3 and 4 per day (espressos) or 3-5mg per kg of body weight per day.
– Take care not to consume too much as it can increase heart rate, impair fine motor control and disturb your sleep.
With just a few tweaks you could help improve your performance and energy on tour. But overall, enjoy the gastronomy and opportunity to eat foods you may not have tried. It’s all about balance!
– Sports Dietitians of Australia fact Sheets: Road Cycling/ Caffeine
– “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise” Jager et al, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2017, 14:20