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PERFORMANCE ENERGY

Nutrition For Cycling

The nutrition needs of cyclists can vary greatly, depending on the intensity and duration of their rides. But carbohydrates are crucial for performance, whether you’re on the road, the trail, or the indoor bike.

PERFORMANCE ENERGY

Nutrition For Cycling

The nutrition needs of cyclists can vary greatly, depending on the intensity and duration of their rides. But carbohydrates are crucial for performance, whether you’re on the road, the trail, or the indoor bike.

Before

When it comes to cycling nutrition, carbohydrates are king. How much you need depends on where you’re going—and how quickly.

Indoor cycling? If you haven’t eaten in more than 2 hours, grab a snack that’s mainly carbohydrates, with modest amounts of fiber, fat, and protein. For a big ride of 2+ hours, splurge on a carbohydrate-packed meal 3–4 hours before you start. The harder and longer the ride, the more carbs you’ll need!

Carbohydrates

Sustain Energy

Timing

Snack 1-2 Hours Before an Indoor Ride

Clif Athlete, Joe Lewis

During

Performance foods like gels and chews are great when you’re going hard. But, on long (2+ hours) less intense rides, your body has the time to digest other foods, like bars with nuts, whole grains, and fruit.

Sports drinks help replace sodium and fluid lost in sweat, while fueling working muscles. Aim for 4–8 ounces every 15–20 minutes.

Carbohydrates

Sustain Energy

Timing

30-60g of Carbohydrates / Hour

After

A combo of carbohydrates and protein is great for recovery following a long ride. Carbohydrates help restore muscle energy stores (glycogen), while having 20+ grams of complete protein (like meat, dairy and soy) in your post-exercise snack or meal encourages muscle repair.

Protein + Carbohydrates

Repair & Restore

Timing

Within 30 minutes