For indoor training, nutrition is just as important as for outdoor training – maybe even more so. Taking care of hydration when riding indoors is one of the keys to performance – along with choosing the right foods.
Our bodies need fuel to keep us moving. No matter how good your fitness is, without a good caloric intake, you won’t get far in any workout session. Cycling performance is directly related to the foods you choose and when you choose to eat them.
Luckily, eating on the bike is simple, especially if you’re at home. And the advantages of indoor cycling over road cycling are many. Climbing on the saddle with your jersey loaded with bars or gels will not be necessary. Safety is also a plus: say goodbye to traffic, wind, rain, potholes and traffic lights.
For indoor sessions, you have no excuses: just don’t forget to hydrate properly and eat about every 45 minutes. But what are the best energy foods for indoor cycling? Here’s our list of recommendations.
Bananas are the perfect fruit for many elite athletes, owing to the sheer quantity and variety of nutrients.
Bananas are full of potassium (they can contain up to 400 mg), so they help you stay hydrated and prevent cramps.
In addition, bananas are loaded with carbohydrates that function as direct fuel. Their natural sugars (glucose, sucrose and fructose) are great sources of energy.
Another benefit of bananas is that, since they are natural and easily absorbed, they do not cause digestive problems.
Nuts and seeds
Cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc. The variety is enormous! Nuts are a great source of energy and very easy to consume.
Their carbohydrate intake is lower, but they provide essential proteins, minerals (phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, etc.), fatty acids such as Omega 3, and vitamins – especially B group and α-tocopherol (Vitamin E), which help provide that necessary kick.
Raisins and dates are other great choices for cyclists. Their consumption has been shown to substantially improve performance thanks to their high potassium, carbohydrate and sugar content, which act as great sources of energy.
In addition, the fiber content in dried fruits is much lower than other fruits, so the possible side effects of high amounts of fiber won’t be a problem.
Homemade energy bars
There is an even more appealing option: combinie of the above into a single food. Making your own energy bars at home is quite fun, and it invites innovation. You can take the foods on this list or experiment with others.
Pick your favorite foods and flavors and spend an afternoon putting your culinary skills to the test. Making your own energy bars is a totally healthy option, and since you directly choose the ingredients, taste will be less of an issue.
Electrolytes are especially important in indoor training. These minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphate, chlorine and magnesium) are lost through perspiration, so training indoors puts you at greater risk of developing a deficit of them.
Their role is extremely important because they help regulate thirst and allow muscles and nerves to function properly during training.
You can mak your own homemade electrolyte drinks, too: a little honey, salt, citrus fruits and water. Quick, economical and effective.