Fact: bicycle riding consumes 500 to 600 calories per hour on average. Harder efforts consume more.
Fact: the average person has enough energy (glycogen) stored in their muscles for about 1 to 1.5 hour of cycling before noticeable fatigue sets in.
Fact: bigger people consume more calories than smaller people.
Fact: when we eat our body converts food into glycogen that is stored in our muscles as fuel to make them move.
Fact: only when there is no glycogen left will your body search for fat to burn. Advanced cyclists are more efficient in this transition.
So knowing these basic facts how does one eat to perform at their best?
- Eat a couple hours before your ride. Eating right before your ride can hurt because your must work to digest the food, taking away oxygen from your muscles.
- Drink also! Drink before your thirsty. Water is generally good although many people find a sports drink is a benefit on longer or more intense efforts.
- During the ride eat things that can be converted into energy quickly such as sports bars, fruit.
- Eating smaller qty’s and more frequently during your ride is better.