Not sure if that McDonald’s pre-ride breakfast is worth it? It’s probably not. Check out our list of what you can and cannot eat before a ride.
Cannot Eat #1: Excess Fibre
Food with high fibre content such as beans takes longer to digest, which means it will stay in your stomach longer. This means that the nutrients are not breaking down fast enough to provide you with energy throughout the ride.
Die Die Don’t Eat: Kacang Pool. You’ll be farting endlessly.
Cannot Eat #2: Spicy Food
If it’s not obvious enough, spicy food can cause a tummy upset. But it can also make you sweat more than you should, causing you to be dehydrated faster.
Die Die Don’t Eat: Anything with sambal. It adds flavour to your food, but it also adds more problems to your tummy!
Cannot Eat #3: Fried Food aka Mcdonald’s
Did you know that fried food takes longer to digest? So if you’re chomping on Mcdonald’s hash browns before your ride, you will definitely be feeling sluggish as you ride.
Cannot Drink: Carbonated Drinks
If you think that the sugar in sweetened fizzy drinks help, you’re wrong. It may give you an immediate boost of energy, but that is temporary and it will only leave you feeling more lethargic than you already were.
Die Die Don’t Drink: Coca-Cola
Can Eat #1: Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are known as the body’s fuel, but that doesn’t mean you can gorge on rice and bread with reckless abandon. Cyclists are recommended to eat food with low to moderate glycemic index (GI) levels, so that the food will be digested just in time for the ride.
Said Chef Bruno, judge of Masterchef Asia:
“Your pre-ride fuel should be a good source of energy that breaks down quickly. Fat and fibre don’t qualify. High-fibre foods, such as salads or large portions of non-starchy vegetables, take a while to digest and therefore stay in the stomach longer.
The same goes for foods with high-fat content. Apart from potentially making you feel sick, foods that sit in your stomach aren’t digesting fast enough to do you any good. This means that the food is not efficiently breaking down to provide energy to the muscles. Instead, opt for carbohydrates and lean proteins.”
Good For You: Muesli bars
Can Eat #2: Healthier Caffeine
If you feel like you need a quick perk-me-up, go for green tea instead of coffee! Not only is green tea filled with beneficial antioxidants, but research has shown that drinking green tea regularly helps to boost endurance exercise performance by up to 24 percent.
Good For You: Green Tea
Can Eat #3: Go Pro With Protein
Protein is essential as part of a pre-ride meal because it helps to provide energy. If a cyclist doesn’t consume any protein before a meal, his or her body will “borrow” some from the muscles to satisfy its need for protein.
Apart from that, protein slows digestion and lowers a food’s GI. That will definitely leave you feel satiated throughout the ride. No tummy rumbles while cycling!
Good For You: Steamed chicken rice, but ask for less rice!
Bonus tip from Chef Bruno: Always eat fresh ingredients
This article was contributed by sportsIN Cycling a place where the cycling community connect, share stories, exchange tips and get updated with the latest trends in cycling.