Fuelling is one of the hardest things to get right and is extremely important in making sure you get the best performance out of yourself. There are many occasions where either yourself, a team mate or a fellow riding partner have suffered from ‘bonking’. Let’s face it, we have all been there at least once and never want to be there again! Here’s our handy guide on how to fuel on the bike to help you reach race success.
Tips on how to Fuel:
Simple is Best
Our advice is not to try and get too clever with food. Simple banana’s are fine if you don’t fancy the energy supplements that are on the market. Always try to avoid any foods with fat in them whilst on the bike as this will slow down the release of carbohydrate, so tasty flapjacks and cakes are a definite no-go! If you must stay away from the dedicated bars then things like rice cakes are a decent option too.
Stick to the Basics
Don’t over-think it; all you have to remember is that you need to take on around 60-90g of carbs per hour. So if you’re only doing an hour Criteruim, one energy gel and a 500ml bottle will be plenty to keep you going.
It’s more difficult when you are doing a long road race but the fundamentals stay the same. Try to take on one gel or bar and a 500ml of energy on per hour. Most brands will make sure that each bar or gel has around 30g’s of carbs in it, so 2-3 units of carbohydrate is key to keeping your carbohydrate stores at the right level. Don’t wait till you’re hungry or thirsty, and don’t try and go for as long as possible without fuelling, or it may be too late! Stay on top of it.
Consider the Weather
Weather conditions do come into play when considering fuelling. So, if the weather is hot then lean more towards bottles as they contain the fluids you are losing through sweating. If the weather is cold then lean towards bars and gels as your body isn’t losing as much water and are also easier to take on board.
Stick to this system and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.