Ready to take on your first road race...
... But not entirely sure what you should be fuelling your body with? Alpine buyer and cyclist Adam gives us his top tips for racing food. You can shop our range of cycling food and drink over on the main website by clicking here. Got a question? Tweet or message us!
‘I’d start the morning with coffees, cereal or porridge plus a couple of pieces of fruit,’ Adam says, underlining the importance of slow-release carbs. Heavy food is a no-no as your stomach won’t have enough time to fully digest before the race kicks off.
‘Hydration is also important so I start drinking water as soon as possible, and I might also top up with an isotonic hydration drink’. So knocking back that H20 is crucial, but how frequently should you be drinking? ‘Little and often is key,’ Adam explains. ‘I always make sure to carry water, and it’s especially important if you’re travelling to the start line.’
Although your race will have different stages of intensity, carbohydrates should be your go-to fuel for this part of your racing journey. ‘Generally in road racing, there is little opportunity to shelter in the wheels riding easy,’ Adam says. ‘Most of the time is spent moving up the bunch and responding to attacks.’
This is where your easy-to-eat carbs come in. ‘Topping up your carbs is crucial,’ Adam adds. ‘I usually take a caffeinated gel in the last hour to give me an extra little boost.’ This tactic is one also used by the Tour de France riders, which according to a cycling food brand, consume six electrolyte drinks, two isotonic gels and a caffeine gel on just ONE alpine climb. See more on Cycling Weekly.
The hard work might be over, but the recovery is just beginning! Riders will frequently rely on a carb-protein liquid boost to kick-start the recovery process: carbohydrates to restore lowered glycogen, protein to mend muscle tissue and liquid to rehydrate. Alpine’s Adam is no different. ‘I always go for a protein shake,’ he says. ‘A big hit of protein and carbs will start my recovery process as soon as the race is finished.’