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With so many brands and types of nutritional products, it can be hard to get what you need and which tastes nice.

Nutrition is a bit like saddles or shoes in that once you find a nice brand you tend to stick with it. A quick run around our office brought up 5 different brands and a variety of products, each of us has our own favourite and we’re fortunate enough to be able to try the majority of these without having to look very far:

Items in our office

Items in our office

Even still, each of us still races with a set menu, so to simplify things a bit we’ll group the products into ideal situations for use.

Training:

Prior to a race or when on a training ride, High5’s train low race high system has gained popularity. I’ll spare you the boring science (see the link for details) but High5 and a number of cyclists have given this method the thumbs up. They all contain electrolytes to keep you performing well and keep your concentration up – which can often dwindle towards the end of a ride once your sugar stores are depleted.

The alternatives available to the High5 are the Nuun and Lucozade.

If you’re training close to the racing season or feel you need to ride with sugar there are plenty of options to choose from. High5’s 4:1 powder contains carbs and a small amount of protein which is supposed to prevent you from burning protein for fuel. This also doubles nicely as a drink to use when riding but not quite at racing speeds – berry flavour tastes brilliant!

Riding/Racing:

Here you want maximum performance and this is where most of the brands have a product suited to this. Carbohydrates with caffeine are the popular choice – most brands do a version without caffeine to suit those who are particularly sensitive, you just have to decide which flavour you prefer. Gels and bars are useful to have in your back pocket to use when you’re really struggling, or just want a quick fix.

As well as drinks you can have gels and bars to keep your pedals turning.

  1. High5 have a large selection, again with or without caffeine. The isogels are great on longer rides when you want to make your water supply last as long as possible: Click here
  2. Lucozade: PBK’s range
  3. Torq have some great sounding flavours: Click here
  4. Our latest range of energy food is from Powerbar

Why not add a selection of flavours and brands to your next cart and see which you prefer, once you do find a nice one it makes riding hard more comfortable and will let you push yourself further than you ever thought.

Recovery:

The main focus here is on replenishing sugar stores (glycogen) and consuming enough protein to re-build the torn and damaged muscle to make it stronger and bigger. Like the energy powders and gels there are lots of variations and compositions. A good recovery drink/bar should include a higher ratio of protein to carbs and if you mix with milk this is increased even more – have a look at the labels and compare the figures when made with water/milk – its well worth having some milk at home for this. Chocolate milk has recently had a lot of good press but if you’re training hard and often this soon becomes more expensive than our recovery powders and bars. Click here for our range of recovery products.

Supplements:

These products can lead to great gains in performance and general health. They however need more time and research than me giving you a simplified view of the info from the packets. If used correctly and if you have the time/resources to ride often and hard enough to need them they work wonders. Click here for our range of supplementary products.

As well as considering your nutrition you of course need to take care of yourself in other ways. Simple things like stretching before and after a ride, along with eating a good varied diet are just as important. Compression wear is great for wearing after hard days and on off days to keep everything supported.

If you would like some more information about certain products please get in touch with us and we’ll try our best to help you.

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A hub of reviews, advice and news from the online road cycling experts at ProBikeKit.