An essential part of your post cycling recovery is eating the right food, so what can you eat asks Nandini Reddy
Glycogen are the stores of energy you burn at the end of your long ride. So the most important recovery is to replenish these glycogen stores. Water, carbohydrates and proteins become the most essential foods to include in your recovery phase. The one thing to remember is that recovery food is not everyday food, these are the foods at give you instant energy and a punch to your flagging system.
The recovery food that you eat has a purpose, you should understand that it is needed for
- Repairing the muscles with protein
- Replenish energy stores with carbs
- Getting your carb:protein ratio spot-on
A few suggestions on how you can recover quickly after a tiring ride beside a long nap include:
- Chocolate Milkshake – This is the most optimal food and this is about the only time you can have it without guilt. A chocolate milkshake has a carb to protein ration of 4:1 and can immediately replace the used up glycogen aside from hydrating you as well. The immediate energy and endorphin boost from chocolate is also useful. When someone tells you to drink a chocolate milkshake, don’t ask too many questions!
- Rice – Please indulge in the most simple carbs like rice. Its easy to digest and provides the right kind of energy. The high Glycemic Index of rice makes it the perfect recovery food. Include dal as an accompaniment with the rice to ensure you get the best combination of protein and carbs.
- Eggs – Eggs provide significant protein and you can even carry boiled eggs with the shell with you during your ride and have it immediately after the ride as a quick recovery food. It is a favoured food for trekkers and other endurance athletes alike.
- Root Vegetables – All root vegetables are great for carbohydrate loading. You can have it as a dry roasted snack or as a curry with rice. These vegetables are also rich in fibre, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese and potassium.
- Nuts & Nut Butters – Nuts, dry fruits and nut butters are ideal for a post-ride snack. They are high in fats and protein and can help recover the glycogen levels quickly.
- Whey Fruit Smoothie – Whey is a great recovery food and is a go to food for many cyclists. You can improve the nutritive value of whey by making a smoothie using fruits.
Never scrimp on post recovery calories because you are trying to lose weight. Training days need higher than normal carbs in order to fuel your body to complete the endurance task. You can avoid unnecessary snacking and stick to fresh foods for recovery.