Because biking burns your calories, it’s a bad idea to burn calories you don’t have. By doing so you’ll feel sluggish, hungry, and won’t be motivated to finish your training. Researchers have found that people who eat a breakfast before exercise are able to go for 16 percent longer than those who didn’t eat breakfast. Below you’ll find some good options regarding breakfast for cyclists.
If you’re taking an easy day you’ll still want to have a light breakfast. For a ride that involves an easier route you need to eat about 30 minutes before and consume 200-300 calories to replace what you lost in sleep. Skipping breakfast for a light ride will cause you to risk overeating later.
Meal Suggestion: Oatmeal with fruit
A time-trial is a race against the clock and requires you to use a lot of energy in a very short amount of time. If you have a time-trial race, you’ll want to eat but you don’t want a big breakfast. Too many calories and eating too close to the start time will bog you down.
Fatty foods, even in small amounts, could cause you problems as well. You want to aim for about 400 calories, two-hours before start time. For a small boost you’ll want to consider having an energy gel or block 15 minutes before the race begins.
Meal Suggestion: Two slices of toast with jam, an egg, fat-free vanilla yogurt, small banana and an orange juice.
A hard ride is usually thought of as one that will push your physical ability and endurance. For example, a challenging route or a route that lasts for hours or even all day. For cyclists planning on going for a hard ride, you’ll want to aim for a breakfast with 400-600 calories, two to three hours before your start. Because this breakfast is heavier you’ll want to give yourself some time to digest or you’re likely to throw up halfway through the ride.
You may be tempted to eat a breakfast even larger than that but doing so will make your calorie intake over the course of the day uneven and you may find yourself overeating. For longer rides you will of course need to take plenty of food and drinks with you.
First Meal Suggestion: Oatmeal, an egg, toast with nut butter, and a glass of orange juice. Have an energy block or a portion of a sports drink 30 minutes before you start.
Second Meal Suggestion: Two pancakes, half-cup berries, one cup fat-free yogurt, and one slice of Canadian bacon or one scrambled egg. No syrup! It’s too full of sugar and empty calories!
There are many recipes that you can use to get yourself ready for whatever’s coming. If the meal plans here do not work for you, play around with what you like. The real breakfast skill comes in portion control. You don’t want to eat too much or too little and run into problems on the track.
A good resource for recipes is: Easy Breakfast Recipes