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Pre-ride nutrition to optimise performance during your training

High protein pancakes

Pre-ride nutrition is essential for optimising performance during your training or rides. It varies for each individual, but here are some general guidelines for what, when, and how much to eat before training:

What to eat:

  • Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for endurance athletes, so make sure your pre-ride meals are carb-focused.

  • If you have about 3 hours before training, you can have a well-rounded meal with some healthy fats and protein alongside carbs.

  • If you're eating closer to your training session, opt for lower fiber, easier digesting carbs, and less protein and fat to avoid feeling sluggish.

  • Examples of pre-ride meals include a hearty bowl of porridge, veggie omelette, or a noodle bowl.

Granola and fruit breakfast

When to eat:

  • Eating 2-3 hours before your training or event is preferred, as it gives your body enough time to digest the meal and fuel up effectively.

  • If you have limited time, you can eat at least 60 minutes before training or within about 15 minutes of starting your session.

  • If you're eating within 15 minutes of starting the ride, opt for easily digestible carbs without much fiber.

Female cyclist training

How much to eat:

  • The amount you eat depends on the intensity and duration of your training.

  • For big training or racing days, aim for about 2-3 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight in your pre-ride meal.

  • For medium training or racing days, aim for roughly 1-2 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight.

  • On rest days or short recovery rides, focus more on healthy fats and protein, and you can reduce the emphasis on carbs.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and you should experiment to find what works best for you. Everyone's body is different, so listen to how your body responds to different types and amounts of pre-ride nutrition. Always prioritise proper hydration and listen to your body's hunger cues to ensure you have enough energy for your training sessions.

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