What to Eat and Drink During Your Bike Ride


I haven't given this much thought until today.  I have been biking seriously now for a year and I have feeling a bit pinch during and after my rides.  Then it suddenly hit me.  Was my eating and drinking during my rides affected how my body felt?

I have googled this matter a bit more than usual now and here is what I found out.

As we ride, we sweat.  This is water evaporating out of our body to keep us cool.  So you drink water from your bottle.  But after drinking, why are we still thirsty?  Science dictates that when we perspire, its not only water that's lost, there are some minerals and what you call electrolytes that are lost as well.  These are not present in water so when you drink.  So even if you drink more and more water, you become bloated yet thirst is there.  We have to replenish not only water but these electrolytes as well.

An immediate solution is putting electrolyte tablets or hydration salts that you can buy from your pharmacy to your water bottle.  One tablet is enough for your 500ml water bottle.  Coming from the biking athletes and experts, as a guide, you must drink 1L of water for every hour of your ride.

Some biking bloggers mention also the use of sugared water.  Its a concoction that is usually used to sweeten fruit drinks.  You can cook this by boiling a cup of water, then adding 2 cups of sugar mixing until the sugar crystals are dissolved.  You can store this in one water bottle and bring another bottle for just water.  Try drinking alternatively or have a mix of them to create your own personal taste.  

With the tablets and sugared water, electrolytes and sugar are returned to your body and supposedly will bring energy to your ride and keep you hydrated.  With this in mind, I'm saying goodbye to my Mountain Dew and Cokes.

For local flavor, you can take coconut water during your ride.  Not too much though as the one's being sold in the streets have water and sugar added in them.  Try to buy the natural coconut water if available.

I always know that carbohydrates are fuel to the body.  That's why athletes do carbo loading, or eating pasta (preferred) or rice the night before the activity.  We are a rice loving people and carbohydrates we eat three times a day, no need to carbo load there.  Still some, I'm that person, I still carbo load, so maybe this is the reason I am not slimming down.  Lets see some of the food suggestions we have digged up.

Pre ride
Bike athletes swear to drinking these prior to their rides.  Oatmeal with raisins or dried fruits spiced with a little bit of sugar is their main breakfast choice.  Next up are fish and omelettes and coffee.  Coffee is a stimulant and some swear its a good thing, although for professionals, they don't use this.  But for us hobbyists, we can do this.  Just stay away from flavored and heavily concocted ones from your favorite popular cafe.  Black coffee is preferred.

During Ride
To replace the lost carbs, we need to eat at least 30grams of it every hour.  So what is 30 grams of carbohydrates?  Choose among these.

1 Jam or Peanut Butter Sandwich
a handful of jellied sweets
1 large banana
1 large cereal or energy bar

For local flavor, you can eat 1 slice of Kalamay (sweet glutinous rice) or 1 suman as well.  I don't know if the latik (sweet sauce) that comes with it is okay to take in.  Try it and tell us if it works.

If you notice we didn't suggets the energy gels being used in the professional circuit as we are amateurs.  If you want to buy them, you are welcome to.  My bike idols use them during their stage races, so I can say those works too.

After knowing this, I will my best to shy away from the neighborhood karinderya.  Less rice and adobong baboy for my next rides.

These are just suggestions we have unearth while researching on the subject, but since we ride for joy, we can eat anything we want.  Enjoy the sport, and keep on riding.

photos ctto