Riding, Nutrition And Making Sense Of It All
Post by: Angela Brown
When I began riding, I knew that some days were better rides than others. There were some days that I felt good and the ride just flowed. There were other days that my stomach killed me. I had trouble catching my breath and thinking about hydrating just made me want to hurl. When I began running more, I knew that eating before hand just wouldn’t work, so I paid more attention to my diet and what I ate and drank. Then it hit me, why am I not doing this when I go ride?
I stopped in the bike shop one afternoon last December, probably picking up some gifts, and they gave me some sample packs of GU. I had seen these but always thought they would be nasty and never thought I would use them. I tucked these in my Camelbak and headed out on a ride. At this point I knew that I couldn’t eat before a long ride, so I had a light breakfast that morning. We were riding around lunchtime, and when I felt like I needed a boost on the ride, I gave the GU a try. I was able to keep riding without the weight of a meal in my stomach, and the ride was a good one, no cramps, no belly ache, and it tasted good. I have also tried Hammer Gels as well, and they are excellent. Hammer Nutrition has a wonderful web site that has all sorts of tips about how to use their supplements to get the most from your workouts. If you decide to use their products, which are “excellent,” you can order directly from them to save yourself some money.
While these supplements are good, they are what they are, supplements. Anyone who is planning on regular exercise needs to consider their overall nutrition level and whether or not they are getting the right kinds of foods. I challenge anyone to go a week and eat really good nutritious meals and see what a difference that makes in your overall performance and just how you feel. It really is true, “we are what we eat,” and we can only perform as well as the fuel we put in our bodies.
I am no nutrition expert, but I know that since paying more attention to my diet my riding has improved, my weight has dropped (big bonus!), and I feel better. I can ride and enjoy the ride, not cuss because I am not at the top of the hill yet. I can concentrate more on improving my skills on rocks, roots and logs, without being so winded. Anything that helps me enjoy my time on the bike is well worth the effort in my book.