Do you want to fuel your race like a pro with sports gels, energy drinks, and rice cakes? You should! Race day is the culmination of your hard training, and nutrition can either allow you to perform at your best or leave you cramping and exhausted. In this series, we will cover the essentials of race day nutrition.
What’s the best energy gel?
Amateur cyclists often consider their race an opportunity to experiment with fancy new energy bars and gels to maximize performance. While a good selection of products to consume on the bike can be a big help, one thing’s often forgotten. Before we get into the specifics of timing, quantity, and type of foods to use for racing, let me give you one key advice.
My advice: Practice in training
No matter how well you calculate the litres of water, milligrams of electrolytes, and grams of carbs, your body can always react differently than expected. It’s essential to do at least a couple of training sessions where you ride at race pace and try eating the foods and supplements you’ve selected.
You need to test out various brands of gels, bars, and drinks and see how your gut reacts to them. It also helps to practice eating on a schedule and handling food on the bike. Never try a new product on race day, that’s a recipe for disaster.
You can test how much you know about race day nutrition in our quiz. If you’re unsure about some questions, don’t worry, you’ll learn all you need in the rest of the series.
How many carbs can the average cyclist safely digest per hour of riding?
What type of drink should be in your bidon on a very hot race day?
When should you start fuelling in a long race?
How should you replenish electrolytes in a race where you’ll sweat a lot.
Is it a good idea to eat this on the bike while racing?