Fed up with processed energy food? Fuel your bike rides with nutrition from your store cupboards rather than the science lab this spring!
Ditch the gels, energy bars and gummies and go back to basics with healthy, whole foods you can buy at your local store. Here’s our top five store cupboard energy snacks for bike rides or other exercise endeavours!
Dates / dried fruits
Dried fruits are nature’s own energy bombs.
Dried dates, figs, pineapple or mango are sweet, delicious, easy to transport and packed full of the vitamins and minerals found in any other fruit.
Dates in particular are the best choice thanks to their huge carbohydrate hit and sweet juicy flavour. Four average-size dates will give you around 200 calories and a whopping 60 grams of carbohydrate, making them just as potent as an expensive energy bar. Just make sure you buy the dates without stones!
Go one better than just dried fruit with some trail mix. This power-packed packet of nuts and dried fruits will give you all the fast carbohydrate of dry fruit along with the salty hit and protein goodness of nuts.
Including nuts into your ride nutrition is a great option for longer days out – the proteins and fats will help you fuel for longer and stay strong through even the biggest day on the bike. The aminos will also help yourebuild and recover as you go!
We recommend a mix that includes almonds, cashews and pecans thanks to their great nutritional profile and easy-to-crunch texture. Make up your medley, throw it into a baggie, and get on your bike!
There’s a reason we loved peanut butter and jam sandwiches when we were kids – because they taste awesome! And it turns out PB&J sandwiches or wraps are just as excellent for bike rides too.
PB&J has the salty-sweet combination that suits all palettes and packs the carbohydrate-fat combo that makes trail mix another of our favourites. Switching jam for honey also makes a great alternative. For easy transport, cut your sandwiches into quarters before individually wrapping them in tinfoil.
Or better still, try a tortilla wrap rather than bread – easier to carry, easier
to eat on the move!
Bananas are a staple of any good day out on the bike. Known as ‘nature’s own energy bars,’ these fantastic fruits are eaten by riders ranging from casual commuters to pro racers.
An average-size banana gives you around 100 calories and 25g of carbohydrate, making them fast fuel for the ride. They’re easy to eat and digest and even easier to transport, what’s not to love!
And did you know that the ripeness of a banana impacts how fast the sugars enter your bloodstream? A very ripe, brown banana will give you a faster fix that a green, unripe fruit – but if you choose a ripe one, make sure you don’t squash it in your pocket!
Sure, were not supposed to eat candy too much ... but if you’re going to eat sweets, do it while you’re cycling.
The extra-fast sugar release from candies is exactly what we need to keep the muscles moving on a hard ride. Haribo, Swedish Fish, Jelly Babies and Wine Gums can be stashed in a baggie for easy munching, and just a handful or two will give you the same energy boost you’d get from a special sports gel.
So, just on this occasion, crush those candies!