Cycling and Food

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Hello folks - first post here.

Have got myself a bike (Giant Escape 4 as that was all I could afford) and I'm very excited as I haven't had a new bike since I was ten. I'm doing the Great North Bike Ride which I'm also excited about as I haven't really cycled since I was ten either (thirty years ago).

Anyway, I've skimmed through this very helpful forum but have not found anything about food re: training. And so, some help would be greatly appreciated.
Am I right in thinking - eat two or three hours before - but what? pasta, carbs etc? And during? Energy bars, bananas, water?
And when I've finished. Last time I had a pint of milk and some Brazil and Cashew nuts but my mother said that was too fattening and I should have had a banana instead. How much food do I need to eat after and what type?

With thanks for any help - Richard


Just get out and ride. Eat a balanced diet of normal foods, go easy on the fats and alcohol, and don't worry too much. Eating before a ride is good, give it an hour to digest if you can, and enjoy yourself.

There's nothing wrong with a pint of milk and a bag of nuts after a couple of hours' cycling BTW. It has to be better for you than a sugary soft drink after all.

When you get to 50 mile training rides then it may be time to have a more specific look at nutrition. For now, enjpoy yourself. :-)


Lunatic Asylum Escapee
Hello Richard and welcome to the forums

I'm also doing the GNBR this year (did it last year along with fellow member Annedonnelly) so if you wish to join Anne and myself you're most welcome.

Food wise I pretty much start the day with some cereal and fruit (such as sliced bananas and apples with shreddies or bran flakes) then I'll go check the bike and load up with a few bananas and energy bars (always handy to carry something like this on your ride) and a mix of boost energy drink and orange lucozade energy in my camelbak (lucozade destroys the fizz) pretty much after a couple of hours after I last ate, I'll go for a ride (about 30+ miles per average, further if I'm feeling good) also stopping to eat anything thats with me for extra energy.

Back home later in the day I pretty much eat anything that takes me fancy, mostly fresh steamed veg / salads now its summer/ fruit or even a take away later in the evening, just about anything that will curb the hunger (and you will get hungry)

depends really on what you intend to cycle for, pleasure / fitness / road racing, I'm sure the fellow chat members will be able to advise you on what they eat.

Have fun and enjoy your cycling


You are on the right track. Night before a good carb meal pasta is fine. Breakfast 3 hours before so release energy porridge for instance,( i have mine uncooked as a cereal).

Depending on how long your riding for? Anything under 2 hours you wont need much to eat. Longer high output rides. Anything fruit based as it is digested quickly. So works quickly. Can be anything really; banana,bar , gel, dried fruit, fruit cake etc.

After milk is good as are nuts for protein add the banana for carbs and your there. Dont forget to keep well hydrated before during and after riding.


New Member

if you want advice on food before, during after and supplements give me a PM or email me. This is what i do for a living so can point you in the right direction. ANyone else feel free to get in touch too. help you out and point you in the right direction.


Senior Member
Thanks for the replies folks, I do appreciate them. And I think they have allayed my need to seek exactly the right type of food. I have a healthy diet and I don't drink anywhere near the amount of alcohol I used to.
Breakfast is often a homemade "building breakfast", which consists of muesli mixed with porridge oats, nuts and seeds, eaten with yoghurt and fruit. I will stick with that, get my energy bars and bananas for the ride, then have milk and banana when I finish.
I'm sure I read somewhere that the hour after you have finished is the crucial time for eating (to retain strength or summat) but perhaps I dreamed that?
Norm, thanks for the kind invite. There's about six of us doing the bike ride from here in Seaton Sluice. And we ride through the village so I'm expecting friends and family to be ready to cheer and chuck things at us. Navrat, I'll get up to forty/fifty miles before I check out anything to do with supplements first, thanks. I've only managed fifteen so far.....thanks again all
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