Many cyclist are careful about their diet, buying organic fruits and vegetables, as well as avoiding preservatives and highly processed food. However, many people fail to achieve this same quality diet while riding or racing. Typical ride food such as sport bars, energy chews and gels are highly processed and contain a large amount of preservatives. Check the expiry date on your favorite ride food, many have a shelf life of more than a year.
In the pro peloton most riders eat real food, from little sandwiches to the famous cyclist rice cakes. These riders also eat commercial processed sport products as supplied by their team’s nutrition sponsor. Now most people are not racing hundreds of kilometers day after day but some of the same nutrition concepts apply. At some point you have probably gone for a long ride and eaten a typical buffet of processed sports products and felt kind of sick after, maybe your stomach even hurt while riding. This is usually a result of all the processed junk that your stomach is not used to dealing with.
This gut rot issue is becoming a hot topic and real ride food is becoming increasingly popular. The Feed Zone Cookbook by famous sport nutritionist Allan Lim shares many of the recipes for the real ride food that you would find in most pro peloton musettes.
Alternatively if you don’t want to do any cooking before your next ride a new company called Prima has some amazing real food options. These bars are delicious, made of nutritious real food, and contain no preservatives, plus they are gluten free. The downside is that since they don’t have any preservatives they only last for a few weeks in the fridge. Prima is a small company and has limited retail distribution, but you can order online from their website and fresh bars will be made and shipped right away. Order Prima Here.
Craig Richey is a multiple time Canadian National team member, representing Canada at mountain bike World Cups and Cyclocross World Championships. Craig is currently doing an MBA in Boston and recently launched SponsorConnected.com