Eating and drinking right for the event is never a new topic but it is also a never ending topic. Getting the nutrition strategy right is very important as it may affect your entire cycling event. A good planning should starts from the day before event.
1. Keep yourself fueled up with carbohydrates that released slowly into your body. Feed yourself with lots of whole grain breads, pasta, etc. Don’t get hungry.
Note 1: Quick release carbohydrates are most breads, cookies, white rice, breakfast cereals, white potatoes and baked goods.
Note 2: You may refer to this link for a list of carbohydrates vs GI.
Note 3: Glycemic Index (GI) measures carbohydrates according to how quickly they are absorbed and raise the glucose level of the blood. Low GI diet helps weight loss and energy levels for endurance sports.
2. Few hours before the ride, again, fuel yourself with another round of slow release carbohydrate breakfast such as oatmeal or bran cereal.
3. Prepare yourself with good quality food or energy bar for your ride.
4. For long ride, starts eating and drinking at least every 30 minutes. You can also prepare some drink that contain carbohydrate such as hypotonic sports drink.
Note 1: There are 3 types of sports drink – isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic.
Isotonic – Fluid, electrolytes and 6 to 8% carbohydrate
Hypotonic – Fluids, electrolytes and a low level of carbohydrate
Hypertonic – High level of carbohydrate
Note 2: You may refer to this PDF doc by ACSM for efficient usage of Sports Drinks, Carbohydrate Gels and Energy Bars.
5. Everyone’s body react differently so what works for me might not be perfect for you. Try it before your actual event and do the necessary tuning that works best for yourself.