Whether it’s the grey time of year or your diet, sometimes you’ll find that your energy is just zapped. If all you want to do is crawl into bed and binge watch the latest Netflix show, then you may want to take a look at this list of energizing food for cyclists. Not only can they help you shake that ‘blah’ feeling, but they will have you feeling strong both on and off the bike.
We all know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and you may be on board the kale train as a nutrient dense food, but what about celery? It may just be the unsung hero you’ve been waiting for, without the bitter taste! Celery contains apigenin, which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action and can help with recovery. It is also packed full of nitrate (which also made beetroot juice so popular), which can help reduce the energy cost of exercise, positively affect muscle contraction, and up your overall energy.
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to low moods and energy levels, so getting your fill of fatty fish can help give you a boost. Many of us get plenty of the unhealthy fats, but are lacking the healthy ones in our diets. Try wild salmon, herring, sardines, or anchovies as a means to get your brain functioning to its fullest potential, and aid in the absorption of vitamin D.
If you are craving some comfort carbs, try some oatmeal before you reach for the pastas and potatoes. Carbohydrates trigger the feel-good emotion of serotonin (which is why they can be dangerous), but you can use this to your advantage. Real oatmeal, not the instant kind, can act as a slow release carb, sustaining you over time rather than spiking your energy. Plus, you can load it up with things like nuts, fruit, and even maple syrup if you’re in need of some sweetness.
4. Hemp Seeds
Rich in iron and magnesium, hemp seeds can aid in the transportation of oxygen and muscle contractions. They are also packed with protein and those fatty acids your body needs, so can make a great addition to your smoothies, salads, or stir frys.
Lentils are your ultimate pre-ride fuel, but can also be a great addition to your everyday diet. Used by vegetarians as a healthy and hearty source of protein, lentils also provide slow burning calories. Relatively speaking they are low in calories and high in mineral content (especially iron), which can help your muscular endurance. Lentils can be used in place of pasta, replace meat in soup, or even be cooked into your morning omelette.
Milk can be a good source of “the sunshine vitamin D,” which effects hormone balance and immune regulation in the body. With the lack of sunlight over the winter in a lot of areas, energy levels drop and many people have depleted immune systems. Raw milk can be a great source of vitamin D, but you can also get it in supplement form.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut is calorie dense, and can work as a fast-acting source of energy. Coconut oil specifically is rich in fatty acids that can help your endurance reduce blood lactate levels, as well as including a hit of vitamin C and electrolytes. You can put it in smoothies, or use it to cook with in just about anything!
8. Green Tea
If you’re on your third cup of coffee and it’s just not cutting it, green tea can help stimulate those brain waves. High in an amino acid called L-theanine, it can increase your alertness while also giving you a hit of caffeine.
We all know bananas are packed full of potassium and magnesium, making them a go-to choice for athletes. They can help prevent muscle cramps, and they’re great for digestion. You really can’t lose, so grab a banana for the perfect snack.
10. Dark Chocolate
If you’re craving a hit of sugar, then curb that feeling with some dark chocolate. Not only does it release that feel good serotonin, but is also causes a release of endorphins that can pick up your spirits on a dreary day. Everything in moderation though, and keep it to just a few squares rather than the whole bar.