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Nutrition advice: 5 post-ride eating tips

No-brainer ideas for eating well when you're too knackered to do a Jamie Oliver

15 Nov 2016

When the pros clamber off their bikes, they’re handed a plate of food by a team chef that’s been prepared with scientific precision to aid their recovery.

For the rest of us it’s more often a case of just grabbing the first thing we see in the fridge.

This, of course, can undo a lot of the good work done in the saddle, especially if you snaffle something stuffed with calories but very few nutrients.

Here’s how to get it right…

1 Keep up to date

Advances in nutritional science happen all the time so look out for the latest findings. If you read Cyclist regularly you’ll know there’s always plenty of food news on our pages. A study that came out at the time of writing, for example, confirmed that beetroot is brilliant for muscle recovery.

2 Keep it simple

Don’t overcomplicate post-ride meals. Fewer ingredients means less time spent shopping and cooking, plus less chance of an upset tummy afterwards. Simple, clean whole foods are easier to digest.

3 Keep it natural

Your diet will be healthier if it’s built around whole foods rather than processed ones. Convenience meals are often full of sugar, salt and chemicals that enhance taste, colour or shelf life. Read the labels on tins and packets to discover just how much of that stuff is in most – it’ll soon put you off!

4 Keep it at hand

Pre-prep your munchies so that they’re there for you after a ride. Boil sweet potatoes so they can be quickly reheated in a microwave. Pre-grill chicken breasts or tofu and store them in Tupperware in the fridge. Ditto freshly prepared salads. Also invest in a rice cooker with a programmable timer and you’ll have warm rice waiting for you after a five-hour ride.

5 Keep it tasty

Post-ride meals need to be super healthy, but never boring. Steam rice in coconut water, or chicken/vegetable broth for added tang. Grate Parmesan cheese onto salads, or drizzle over Balsamic vinegar to add a flash of flavour. Grinding black pepper; sprinkling spring onion slices or chopped coriander; adding a dash of olive oil; or squeezing half a lime over your meal are all healthy ways of boosting the yum factor. Ideally your post-ride plate should include salad, starches like beets or rice, and lean protein like tofu or skinless chicken.

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