GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Even casual cyclists are often out on the trail for an hour or more, and it's important to maintain energy and hydration during your ride. Whole Foods Market's Jen Finger served up some tips to keep you going on two wheels.
Eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty.
Start with a light snack 1 - 2 hours before your ride, a little larger meal if you are heading out for 3 hours or more.
Carbohydrates are best as they break down into glucose - what your body needs for energy - faster and more efficiently than proteins and fats. Fruit or whole grains like oatmeal or whole grain crackers are good options.
If you are riding for an hour or more, a good rule of thumb is to have a snack every hour to maintain your energy level. Bananas, energy bars, dried fruit and nut trail mix, even a PB&J on whole wheat make for great portable energy boosters.
For hydration, make sure to take a drink every 15 minutes. For short rides, water is fine, but for anything more than an hour, opt for something like coconut water or other healthy sports beverage that will replenish electrolytes.
And of course, replenish after your ride. Our Blueberry Banana Smoothie recipe has a great balance of carbs and protein to refuel and refresh after a good workout. Adding ground flax offers a healthful boost of omega 3s, fiber and protein
Blueberry Banana Smoothie (Serves 2)
• 1 fresh or frozen banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
• 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
• 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
• 3/4 cup skim milk or unsweetened soymilk, ricemilk or almondmilk, (more or less to taste)
• 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
• 1 teaspoon agave nectar, or to taste
• 1/2 cup ice cubes, (optional)
Put all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
Per Serving:200 calories (40 from fat), 4.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 23g sugar), 10g protein
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