Food before rides

Cycling Weekly 2009 Giro d'Italia jersey competition

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I cycle 30-40 miles twice a week. I would like a few suggestions on what to eat before going out on a bike ride and how long before I go out I should eat it.

Damian, London

For rides of this length it is not what you add to your diet to fuel the ride, but rather what you include in your daily diet and when you eat it. Ideally, pre-ride, choose a moderate-size carbohydrate-rich meal also containing a small amount of protein.

Approximately 70g of carbohydrate would be ideal for your 30- to 40-mile ride length with a maximum of 20g of protein. Porridge with skimmed milk is a good option, as is scrambled egg on wholegrain toast or a wholemeal bagel with jam. This meal should be eaten two hours prior to your ride.

One hour prior to your ride, begin to sip on 500ml of a weak carbohydrate and electrolyte solution to ensure you are fully hydrated too. This is a good strategy for improved performance, but you need to ensure your diet as a whole has the correct calorie balance, carbohydrate content and water intake for overall performance and health.

Lynn Clay

Sports nutritionist. Lynn provides sports nutrition advice to personal trainers and fitness staff