After months of being cooped inside our homes while social-distancing, cycling has emerged as a great workout for many. Not only do you get a chance to take a spin around your familiar neighbourhood but also burn calories!
Cycling has many benefits. It is a great cardio exercise, which means you get your heart rate up and burn calories, tones your legs and improves your mental well being. It is also a great way to amp up your lung power! So, after a strenuous cycling session, it is important to eat right so that you do not regain the calories you just burnt nor do you feel fatigued while cycling.
'Before you go cycling, eating should help fill up your glycogen store so as to continue your ride as close as possible to a full glycogen tank. Everything you eat and drink often has an effect on how quickly the body can turn it into energy,' says Shikha Mahajan, holistic nutritionist and founder of Diet Podium. She adds that after the end of a long ride you need to fill up your glycogen stock, particularly if you intend on riding the next day glycogen is the fuel of your bicycle!
So, here are her recommendations to include in your diet:
"Quinoa has twice as much protein as a cereal grain and is perfect to provide cyclists with slow-release energy. Quinoa is bland yet mildly nutty and typically cooked like pasta or rice. It is also versatile because it can be made both sweet and savoury."
"Porridge is a perfect meal before your adventure for those practice sessions beginning early in the day. Try eating it a few hours before you ride so you don't start with a full body and you have had time to digest. Other ingredients with which porridge is delicious such as dried berries, banana or jelly."
"The banana is a great addition to your diet if you are in a rush and want instant energy. The maturity of the banana affects the speed with which energy is available. A mature banana can be digested and handled even better than a green banana, meaning that what you ingest and how much you use the impact energy is what you drink. Moreover, the more ripe or yellowed a banana is, the higher its antioxidant content will be."
"Chia seeds are quite elusive, but cyclists can use them to improve strength. They can be applied practically flavourless to almost anything, from puddings to salads or soups without frying. They can also be ground in a paste and applied for an additional boost to a sports drink. A teaspoon is made up of around 60 calories."
Eggs On Toast
"Eggs on the toast are the perfect option for easily fast feeding after running, cycling or other intense cardio activities. Eggs are a complete protein, while toasts are a decent source of carbohydrates. As an alternative, if you come in after your trip, you could only boil some eggs and make them available for quick protein use."
Nuts And Dry Fruits
"Nuts and dry fruits are ideal as the first thing to eat a full meal after the ride. Easy carbs that are quick to absorb and almost instantaneously raise the body's strength and continue to replenish the volume of glycogen to a larger extent of carbon-rich food."
"Peanut butter is a good snack after a ride. Eat with entire toast or bagel to help the regeneration by combining both carbohydrates and protein. To stop cholesterol-raising fats, use all-natural or "peanut butter only" versions. It can be eaten as a post-meal or as a meal before training."
"Milkshakes provide an ideal ratio of 4:1 carbs to protein in most homemade shakes. After a cycling session, especially when you are tired, and might be not able to eat carbohydrates instantly, it is a particularly useful drink. Dairy shakes often support and include a mix of both proteins and carbs, as well as fresh berries that can be improved. Adding a scoop of protein in almost always recommended."