NUTRITION FOR THE LONG HAUL
Cyclists have it easy, with so many places to stash your nutrition. Bringing variety keeps things interesting out on the road… Roctane Energy Drink in your bottle, Chews to share with your buddies, Stroopwafels to reward a climb, and BCAAs to prevent muscle damage.
BEFORE YOU GO
If you're logging hours in the saddle every week, sipping on fluids with light electrolytes throughout the day can keep you feeling good when it’s time to ride. Depending on your effort level and environment, cyclists should drink between two to four liters of water over a 24-hour period.
Carbs are your friend before any ride. It’s always a good idea to top off your energy stores before you hit the roads with a source of easily digestible carbohydrates. Avoid fiber and protein close to a ride – they are harder to digest – and stick to the simple stuff like an Energy Stroopwafel 30-minutes before or an Energy Gel five-minutes before you get rolling.
Don't Wait until you are hungry or feel low energy to start fueling. Make a plan to stay ahead of your hunger. If you’re riding for longer than an hour, you need to bring a some easily digestible carbs like an Energy Gel or Energy Chews. Eat one Energy Gel or four Energy Chews (one-serving) every 45-minutes. Filling your bottles with ROCTANE Energy Drink mix is an easy to way to get both energy and hydration.
Remember, you can train your gut to absorb carbs, so fueling while training means your body will be ready to efficiently absorb your fuel when it counts on race day.
Fluids are important, too. When you’re dehydrated, your performance suffers (and you feel crumby). If you’re going for longer than an hour, 16-30 oz of water per hour with electrolytes will keep you feeling good. Also, fluids help your stomach process the food and carbs you’re eating.
Know where the feed stations will be so you can plan what you need to bring. Make sure you have enough bottle capacity to last you through the longest stretch between aid. When you’re peddling hard, it’s even more important to keep it simple with easily digestible carbs. Bring at least one Energy Gel or one serving of Energy Chews (four-pieces) for every 45 minutes you’ll be riding.
Since your cravings can change when you’re in the saddle for hours, it's important to use a mix of forms and flavors to entice yourself to continue to eat and drink. ROCTANE Energy Drink gives you carbs and hydrates you at the same time. While riding, you should aim to drink 16-30 oz of fluids every hour. (That’s between one and two normal sized bike bottles.)
After a long ride or race, refuel with carbs, protein, and electrolytes ASAP. The best way to kick-start your recovery is to replenish your muscles as soon as you’re done, ideally within 30 minutes. ROCTANE Protein Recovery Drink is one way to quickly (and deliciously) get 20 grams of whey protein, 30 grams of carbs, and electrolytes.
We like to say anytime is a good time for BCAAs (aka branched-chain amino acids), which are the building blocks of proteins and are found in your diet and in many GU products. You can supplement your diet by taking 2-4 ROCTANE BCAA Capsules anytime daily.
Remember what we said about hydration… it’s a 24/7 job! Replenish what you lost from sweat and keep drinking throughout the day. Cycling stresses your body, which means you might be deficient in key nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D. Also, long hours spent training in the saddle can disrupt your gut. ROCTANE Magnesium Plus Capsules and ROCTANE Probiotic Plus Capsules can make sure your body has enough of these key nutrients.