Whether you’re planning a long season of sportives and need to be ready for the following week of training, or just want to make it into the office on Monday morning, post event nutrition is the answer!
Riding a bike for hours without rest or a proper meal and burning thousands of calories could leave you in deficit, but the most important element to recovery is immediate replenishment.
That takes place in what’s known as the glycogen window, which basically means after exercise the body is best placed to take on nutrients. Within the first 15-30 minutes of climbing off the bike is ideal and snacking for an hour or two afterward has a heightened effect.
The biggest mistake to make is to skip food after a sportive, electing to wait for a big feed-up later that evening. Ideally your evening meal should be similar in size to a regular day, with an emphasis on using the glycogen window after the ride, before bed and the following morning.
Sometimes you won’t feel like eating immediately post-ride and there are a wide range of recovery drinks available. British Cycling’s nutrition partner CNP has Pro MR for exactly this purpose – but natural sources of micronutrients from fruit, nuts and natural proteins mustn’t be ignored as there is no one cure-all drink or bar that will replace these.
Hopefully, following a recovery drink you’ll be able to start eating, while continuing to hydrate before an evening meal.
When coupled with the right nutrition, sleep is the most powerful recovery form, but before bed a slow release protein will further aid recovery – after all, you wouldn’t go for eight hours during the day without eating. This protein can be a supplement such as CNP Pro Peptide or even a milky drink, like a natural hot chocolate made with cocoa and fructose.
The next day a carefully thought out breakfast – consisting of porridge, yoghurt and eggs – should be supplemented by regular snacks through the day, like dry fruit and nuts. Paying attention to the details through the remainder of the day is important as your body is still in recovery mode and if you rode Sunday, then Tuesday, not Monday will be the most painful if you get it wrong!
Want more information on nutrition? Take a look at the British Cycling Insight Zone for advice from the same experts that work for the Great Britain Cycling Team.
Link: CNP Professional