Energy Food and Drink Guide
Summary / Key features
- Energy food and drink and energy gels are carefully balanced to enhance performance and improve recovery
- They are separated between pre/during and post ride
- They are consumed as drinks (or powder for mixing), gels and bars
- All bike energy foods, drinks and gels contain a combination of carbohydrate, electrolyte and protein
Energy food and drink is suitable for?
- Competitive cyclists
- Cyclists looking to improve performance
- All endurance athletes
- You could just eat and drink normal food – and frankly a lot of the time that would be ok, but specifically designed energy food and drink – taken properly, will help you go faster for longer.
- The combination of carbohydrate, electrolytes and protein is key. For pre/during ride you’ll find a higher concentration of carbohydrates – post ride products contain more protein to help rebuild muscles.
- Energy gels and drinks are easier and quicker to consume than solid food during intense exercise – but most find they prefer the taste of a bar.
- Advanced energy drinks not only hydrate you as well (and even better than) water, but also contain the necessary carbohydrates to keep you riding.
Pete at Tredz: “I always have an energy gel in the back pack just in case – I’ve been on plenty of long rides where the only thing that’s got me home is a handy shot of energy.”
Choosing the best energy food and drink
The most suitable energy food, gels and drink will vary per person and per ride. The one rule to follow though is: The longer you ride, the more energy you’ll need.
All energy products make similar claims, but one thing that can’t be dictated by marketing spiel is personal taste. One rider will love an energy gel that another can’t stand. Try a few and see what works.
Do you find it difficult to digest food on the bike? Gels and liquid based energy are great, but be careful not to neglect ‘proper’ food – an important part of the preparation for any ride.
Finally – bearing in mind the pre/during and post types of energy food, buy from a recommended brand and see if you get along with it. If it works and you like the taste: stick with it!