Getting used to eating on long rides can be just as challenging as the ride itself. In order to keep your energy stores at the levels that they should be, it is recommended to eat 60g of carbohydrates per hour and at least one 500ml bottle of fluid. That might not sound like a lot, but when you're exercising for more than three hours in hot weather, the task can be more daunting than it sounds.
Digestion, bike handling and how to pack your food are all common problems you'll have to solve before you head out on the road. Below are seven easy tips to help make your on-the-bike refueling easier to stomach.
Cut off the top of your energy bar packages
Struggling to tear a wrapper while your riding can lead to a lapse in concentration, especially once you become fatigued on a long ride. Cutting the package across the top with a pair of scissors before you leave home will make it easier.
Bring real foodWhile convenient, energy bars and gels can be tough on your stomach during exercise. If heading out on a ride for more than two hours, it might be a good idea to bring a mix of bars and food. Pancakes, a soft roll filled with jam or nutella and bananas are all excellent choices for a substitute.
More: Fueling Up for the Ride
Drink before you're thirstyIt's recommended to drink at least one 500ml bottle every hour you ride, and two if it's hot out. To stay on top of your hydration needs, start taking sips from your bottle shortly after leaving. It's easy to forget to drink, especially early on. After the first hour has passed it may already be too late.
Bring an energy drinkFluids are easier to digest than food. Carrying one bottle of sports drink and one bottle of water should keep your storage of electrolytes where they should be. It can also be a good way to consume calories. If you have a hard time with food, find a company that sells recovery drinks that include carbohydrates and protein to aid in your caloric intake.