Cycling as sport and exercise to stay fit has gained lot of popularity and with it has grown the variety and types of energy bars for cycling. Packed with healthy nutrients and burst of energy, pocket-sized energy bars can be your ally to power your rides.
Cycling, whether done for fun or as exercise, takes a toll on the body. Long rides on the cycle can leave you fatigued and eating healthy is equally important. This is especially consequential for the cyclist who rides professional and spends hours training and riding. Light-headedness, disorientation, cold sweats are few symptoms cyclist experience and are termed as “bonking”.
Feeling low in energy and tired while racing or riding over hilly regions can spoil the fun as well as harm the cyclist. There are many nutritional supplements, energy drinks, gels etc. available in the market other than natural healthy food. However, when it comes eating healthy, nutritious and handy food, the energy bar is a wise choice.
Energy bars have come a long way in terms of taste and nutritional composition. Not all energy bars are equally and nutrition bars for cyclist are specially formulated to boost energy, enhance performance and power up your ride.
Choose Nutrition Rich Bars for Cycling
Not all bars available in the market are healthy; some are just sugar-filled candy bar without any nutritional benefit. While selecting any energy bar make sure to check nutritional labels and ingredient list. An ideal healthy energy bar for cyclist should be nutritionally balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
you burn some fat cycling and during other types of aerobic exercise, however, your body still needs energy and this is where carbohydrates (essentially, sugars), become important. In absence of carbohydrates or say energy from carbohydrates, cyclist as well as other sports athletes can suffer from the adverse effects of bonking.
An ideal energy bars for cyclist should provide up to 60gms of carbohydrates to maintain the blood sugar levels.
Proteins are very important nutrients when it comes to repair and maintenance of muscles. They are extremely essential for post-ride recovery. Energy bars for cyclist and sportsperson or for gymnast should contain good quality proteins along with carbohydrates to prevent muscle protein breakdown. Whey or soy-based protein bars for cyclist work best to power up your ride.
The energy bar you choose as your riding companion should provide adequate calories to sustain the twists and turn of your cycle ride. Whether you ride professionally or for fitness, banking up on calories during your ride is important. Your carry-along energy bar during the ride should provide 300-350kcals.
Cycling is a strenuous sport and accompanied by dehydration due to sweating. Imbalance of electrolytes, namely sodium, potassium and chloride, is quite common and an energy bar fortified with these minerals or contains food rich these nutrients are a perfect package to pack in your bag pack.
Along with energy bars, a nutrient-rich diet is also vital for the cyclist who trains rigorously and hit the road for long durations. A well-balanced meal containing all the food groups is advised with plenty of water.
Type Of The Energy Bar Available for Cycling
There are many different types of bars available in the market and you should select a bar that meets your requirements and
fulfills the purpose.
High carbohydrates bars – these bars are best to be eaten on long-duration, difficult rides to ensure the steady supply of energy to keep your body fuelled.
Protein bars - help cyclist to build muscle, repair and recover. They are best snack option post ride.
Meal replacement bars - A perfect nutritious wholesome meal while on the way.
Energy bars are just the thing for your ride, whether long or short. However, whether your bar actually provides all the benefits it claims or is just a sugar filled candy bar in disguise needs to be carefully scrutinized.
Best Time to Eat Energy Bars
When you eat the energy bar to reap the best of it benefits depends upon the kind of rider you are.
1. Before the ride
- Eating energy bar before the ride is ideally for athletes preparing for a long ride or riding races.
2. After the ride
- If you are adopting cycling as a means to stay fit and burn down the fat or amateur cycling fan then eating your energy bar after the hard ride is ideal as it helps preserve the muscle glycogen stores and prevents muscle protein breakdown.
3. While on the bike
– replenishing your energy stores while riding lengthy routes, hilly terrains and for longer durations. An energy bar that provides 350kcals or up to 80gms of carbohydrates is a sure bar to pack up.