6 Eating Habits That Sabotage Your Cycling

Missing the Recovery Window

Eat within 30 to 60 minutes of ending your workout, and your body fast-tracks those nutrients to muscle repair and glycogen replacement. After that, you'll still benefit, says Eberle—just not as much. Put off eating, and you're more likely to feel tired from the effort, not stronger for the next one. That's a crucial difference when you're stacking big rides back to back.

Change it: Prep your recovery foods beforehand so they're ready for you to eat. Far from home? Pack a cooler with a sandwich and a salad.

Not Drinking after Rides

Too often, cyclists stop drinking when the ride stops. But because it's almost impossible to take in enough fluids while riding to fully replace what you've lost, cyclists end workouts dehydrated, which compromises recovery.

Change it: Refill your bottle after your ride and down the contents within an hour.

More: Can a Secret Drink Mix Solve Your Hydration Issues?

Ignoring Seasonal Changes

Come winter, fewer hours of sunlight and snowy streets can curtail your time on the bike. If you don't trim calories accordingly, you'll gain weight by spring. "Eat according to your activity level," says Eberle.

Change it: Look at the duration and intensity of your winter workouts: If you're cranking hard as ever, eat like it's July. If not, pass on seconds.

More: Eating to Win: What We Can Learn From Pro Cyclists

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