By Brian Farr
When the rides get longer and the weather is hotter it’s crucial to eat and hydrate properly.
It’s important to take a sports drink formula with you when on the training rides and on the ride itself. If you’re drinking only water while riding you are not replacing all of the very vital electrolytes lost in sweat needed for physical activity. It sounds counterintuitive to drink sugar water all day, but it makes sense when you think about how much physical activity you are doing each day and how much energy it is going to take to get you and your bike to the end of your ride. Gatorade, Eload and Heed are great choices when selecting a sports drink formula. For those who are adamant about drinking only water, try using this homemade sports drink formula with a healthier spin on it.
Homemade Sports Drink
¼ cup of organic grade A maple syrup (or to taste)
1 teaspoon of Himalayan rock salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon or lime (or to taste)
Sports drink formulas are scientifically developed and geared towards providing athletes with adequate electrolyte/glucose replenishment. This homemade formula may not adequately provide you with enough of the important nutrients needed for high endurance activity. Also note that these ingredients will not be available on the Rally; it would only be available to you while on training rides and you really should be using the same formula on the ride that you used on the training rides.
When making choices on what to eat the night before and the morning of the ride, focus on refined starchy grains/carbohydrates as they need next to no digesting and the energy you receive from them will be available on consumption. At lunch, protein looks like a good option, but it isn’t. More energy is needed to digest protein – and it is not a main source of fuel for your body – so save your protein intake for the end of the day and focus on refined carbohydrates (like white pastas, rice, potatoes, breads) before and during the ride.
These guidelines are designed to provide you with a constant stream of energy and are to be used specifically for high endurance activities. When you’re not participating in high endurance activities, these rules and diet choice need not apply and a well-rounded diet including whole nutrient-dense foods is important.
- Make sure you are constantly hydrating yourself with a sports drink formula before, during and after the ride.
- Eat foods like white rice and breads before and during the ride so that you can maintain adequate energy while minimizing digestive issues.
- At the end of the day, focus on foods that contain high levels of vitamins and minerals like fruits and vegetables and make sure you get in your protein to help repair the micro traumas inflicted on your muscles.