NUTRITION FOR CYCLING EVENTS

  • It is very important to consume carbs on the road for any event that exceeds 60-90min  
  • Start after 30min in the race to fill your reserves.
  • It is ideal to consume between 30-60g CHO/h.
  • The harder you cycle the more you have to consume.

Sports Drinks

You can use any sports drink, just be aware of the carbs content on the label.

32GI Endurance drink – 50g: 47 g

CHO GI 32 Accelerate High Intensity Race and training sports drink  75g+750ml water = 71g CHO (depending how hard you cycle and how much liquids you can carry, select the one that will work better for you)  The more you can eat the less you have to drink, but be careful to consume enough liquids. You need to consume between 0.4-0.8l/hour or 90-120ml/15min. Monitor the colour of your urine to ensure you don’t dehydrate. The warmer the temperature, the more you need to drink!

Food Portions Providing 50 g of Carbohydrate

Cereal

(Not all these items are suitable when cycling but can be used for vir carbo-loading)

  • Wheat biscuit cereal (e.g. Weet Bix) 60g (5 biscuits)
  • 'Light' breakfast cereal (e.g. Cornflakes) 60 g (2 cups)
  • 'Muesli' flake breakfast cereal 65 g (1-1.5 cups) Toasted muesli 90 g (1 cup)
  • Porridge - made with milk 350 g (1.3 cups) Porridge - made with water 550 g (2.5 cups) Rolled oats 90 g (1 cup)
  • Bread 100 g (4 slices white or 3 thick wholegrain) Bread rolls 110 g (1 large or 2 medium)
  • Pita and lebanese bread 100 g (2 pita)
  • Chapati 150 g (2.5)
  • English muffin 120 g (2 full muffins)
  • Crumpet 2.5
  • Muesli bar 2.5
  • Rice cakes 6 thick or 10 thin
  • Crispbreads and dry biscuits 6 large or 15 small Fruit filled biscuits 5
  • Plain sweet biscuits 8-10
  • Cream filled/chocolate biscuits 6
  • Cake style muffin 115 g (1 large or 2 medium) Pancakes 150 g (2 medium)
  • Scones 125 g (3 medium)
  • Iced fruit bun 105 g (1.5)
  • Croissant 149 g (1.5 large or 2 medium)
  • Rice, boiled 180g (1 cup)
  • Pasta or noodles, boiled 200 g (1.3 cups)
  • Canned spaghetti 440 g (large can)

Fruit

  • Fruit crumble 1 cup
  • Fruit packed in heavy syrup 280 g (1.3 cups)
  • Fruit stewed/canned in light syrup 520 g (2 cups) Fresh fruit salad 500 g (2.5 cups)
  • Bananas 1 extra large
  • Large fruit (mango, pear, grapefruit etc.) 2-3
  • Medium fruit (orange, apple etc.) 3-4
  • Small fruit (nectarine, apricot etc.) 12
  • Grapes 350 g (2 cups)
  • Melon 1,000 g (6 cups)
  • Strawberries 1,800 g (12 cups)
  • Sultanas and raisins 70 g (4 Tbsp)
  • Dried apricots 115 g (22 halves)

Vegetables

  • Potatoes 350 g (1 very large or 3 medium)
  • Sweet potato 350 g (2.5 cups)
  • Corn 300 g (1.2 cups creamed corn or 2 cobs)
  • Green Beans 1,800 g (14 cups)
  • Baked beans 440 g (1 large can)
  • Lentils 400 g (2 cups)
  • Soy beans and kidney beans 400 g (2 cups)
  • Tomato puree 1 litre (4 cups)
  • Pumpkin and peas 700 g (5 cups)

Dairy Products

  • Milk 1 litre
  • Flavoured milk 560 ml
  • Custard 300 g (1.3 cup or half 600 g carton)
  • 'Diet' yoghurt and natural yoghurt 800 g (4 individual tubs) Flavoured non-fat yoghurt 350 g (2 individual tubs)
  • Ice cream 250 g (10 Tbsp)
  • Fromage frais 400 g (2 tubs)
  • Rice pudding/creamed rice 300 g (1.5 cups)

Sugars & Confectionery

  • Sugar 50 g
  • Jam 3 Tbsp
  • Syrups 4 Tbsp
  • Honey 3 Tbsp
  • Chocolate 80 g
  • Mars Bar and other 50-60 g bars 1.5 bars Jubes and jelly babies 60 g

Drinks

  • Fruit juice - unsweetened 600 ml
  • Fruit juice - sweetened 500 ml
  • Cordial 800 ml
  • Soft drinks and flavored mineral water 500 ml Fruit smoothie 250-300 ml

Sports Food

  • Sports drink 700 ml
  • Carbohydrate loader supplement 250 ml Liquid meal supplement 250-300 ml Sports bar 1-1.5 bars
  • Sports gels 2 sachets
  • Glucose polymer powder 60 g

(Source: Peak Performance: training and nutritional strategies for sport J. Hawley and L. Burke. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1998).

Carbo loading

Start 36-48h before the race. Carbo-loading is only necessary for ultra events. Your aim should be between 8-12g CHO/kg i.e. 640-800g. `n Loader such as USN enduro Carbs will help 75g (2 scoops) in 600ml water. 1 portion supplies 68,5g CHO. Drink 3 portions during the day with your meals to supply you additional carbs. Use the list above to help you make the correct food choices. You can increase your portion sizes at night, or eat a fruit or an extra slice of bread at lunch. You can also add a fruit salad with yogurt with your normal breakfast cereal in the morning.

Pre-event: You must eat or drink something the morning before the race, such as a Futurelife smoothie with banana and peanut butter. Your meal/drink prior to the event must supply at least 80g CHO. You can have a sports drink (60g) with a banana or peanut butter sandwich. Drink 2-4 hours prior to the race 400-800ml liquids.

For Recovery you need to consume between 1-1,5g CHO/kg and 15-20g Proteins. Ideal Recovery drinks include: USN Recovery MAX – it supplies 20g protein en 63g CHO. Other great recovery meals include:

  • Banana/dates/bun
  • Sandwich with biltong and a fruit
  • Pasta salad with chicken
  • 700ml sports drink with an energy bar
  • 500ml flavoured milk or drinking yogurt with a fruit
  • Pepto Pro

Information kindly supplied by:
Antonette Grant
Address: 2 Robbin Ave, Safarituine Ext 3, Rustenburg, 0299, South Africa North West
Post Office box: 20830, Protea Park, Rustenburg, 0305
Phone: 014 533 0028
Dietitian & Nutritionist