Fuelling for a longer ride is critically important for success. What and when you eat is vital to feeling good on the bike and achieving your best.
(To get more comprehensive nutrition advice, download our free ultimate nutrition guide for cyclists.)
Having coached 1000s of riders of all abilities and experience over the years, we know that nothing can ruin a long bike ride or event like failing to fuel properly. As one of our key training pillars (TRAIN | FUEL| MIND) that we focus on, fuelling properly for a longer effort is fairly straightforward but does require some preparation and a bit of practice. But by following our coaches’ top tips you’ll be set-up for success.
Getting your nutrition right starts way before you even get on the bike, and will depend on what time and how long you expect to be riding for. We recommend you eat a good carbohydrate rich meal 2-3 hours before your ride.
Our top recommendations:
1. Porridge with banana and honey
2. Greek yogurt with granola and berries
3. Toast with peanut butter and sliced banana
You can read more on our recommended pre-ride food and get some cracking recipes here.
Consume a small amount of carbohydrates (CHO) during each hour of the ride, including the first one, to increase energy delivery to your muscles and extend endurance.
You need roughly 40-60g of carbohydrates per hour. Read the label of your snack and understand how many carbs it has so you know how much roughly to eat.
Eat little and often, start usually within the first 20 minutes of your 100 miles. Avoid high fibre foods and those high in fat and protein.
The best homemade foods to take with you on a 100 mile ride:
- Dried dates or figs ( optional to roll in a little Himalayan sea salt)
- Boiled potatoes with sea salt
- Homemade flapjacks
- Salted rice cakes with honey or natural jam and/or banana
- Homemade rice balls (savoury or sweet)
- Home made energy balls
(You can find a recipe for our perfect on bike Njinga Chocolate Chia Bars in our guide)
Our recommended shop-bought options for longer rides:
Natural energy bars (Velo Forte, Tribe, Nakd)
Gels for later stages of the ride (Raw Velo or Clif Gel blok)
Just like with food you need to be drinking little and often throughout your entire ride. Aim for a minimum of 500-700ml of water with electrolytes every few hours.
That's about one standard-sized cycling water bottle every 90 minutes. This will vary slightly if the temperature increases but shouldn’t drop below that.
Our recommendations for what to have in your water bottles:
- Water with electrolytes (We use Elete)
- Juice (with added electrolytes) Coconut water
OUR ACADEMY MEMBERS’ TOP TIP:
Don’t forget to keep drinking even when the weather is cold and wet! When it’s pouring down and you are surrounded by water it can be easy to forget to drink, but just because your legs are soaked it doesn’t mean your body is hydrated.
James, Njinga Cycling Academy Member since 2022
TRY BEFORE YOU RIDE
We highly recommend you try everything you are likely to eat on the day of your 100 miles before you set off. You never know how your body might react to certain foods or drinks when it's put under stress. So trying everything at least a couple of times during rides is vital to making sure you ace your 100 miler.
Our natural approach to nutrition is not simply the food you eat, but rather a 360 view of when, what and how you eat.
Understanding the full picture allows us to see where you need to improve from better food choices, to sleep and recovery, etc. We also pay close attention to your nutritional timings so you are not held back from achieving your goals.
Without a smart nutrition plan, you won't be able to perform to your full potential.
Download our free, expert guide below and join 1000s of riders who have benefited from the Njinga approach.
Categories: Fuel Smart, nutrition