masters cycling

What a Masters Cyclist Should Eat and Drink on a Bike Ride

Figuring out what a masters cyclists should eat and drink on a Bike Ride is both super important and tricky. I mean, most of us didn’t go to medical school, and what the hell does kJ/kg/day mean anyway. Here are the bare-bone basics of hydration and fueling AKA What a Cyclist Should Eat and Drink on a Bike Ride

Masters cycling is cycling that involves bike riders over the age of 30 competing against each other in various cycling events. It is important for master cyclists to maintain a healthy diet in order to perform at their best during these events. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of nutrition in masters cycling and provide recommendations on what to eat and drink before, during, and after a bike ride.

Understanding Nutrition for Masters Cycling

masters cyclist

In order to understand the role of nutrition in masters cycling, it is important to understand the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in cycling. Macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, provide energy and support muscle growth and recovery. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are essential for overall health and athletic performance.

Cycling requires a lot of energy, and successful masters cyclists need to understand their energy requirements in order to maintain their performance during long rides. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy required to maintain basic bodily functions, and calories burned during cycling can vary depending on factors such as weight, intensity, and terrain.

Pre-Ride Nutrition

The importance of pre-ride nutrition cannot be overstated. Eating the right foods before a ride can provide the necessary energy to perform at your best. Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for the masters cyclist, and should make up the majority of pre-ride meals. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Proteins can also help support muscle growth and recovery, while fats can provide sustained energy.

Timing of pre-ride meals is also important. Meals should be eaten 3-4 hours before the ride, and should be low in fiber and fat in order to prevent stomach discomfort during the ride.

Nutrition During the Ride

Proper hydration is crucial during cycling, as even mild dehydration can negatively impact performance. Water is the most important source of hydration, but electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are also important for maintaining fluid balance and preventing cramps. Electrolyte drinks can be useful for replacing lost electrolytes during long rides.

Energy gels and bars are convenient sources of carbohydrates that can be easily consumed during the ride. Whole foods such as bananas, sandwiches, and energy bites can also provide energy and nutrients. It is important to consume carbohydrates regularly during long rides in order to prevent bonking, which is when the body runs out of glycogen and energy levels drop.

Post-Ride Nutrition

After a ride, the body needs to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle damage. Eating the right foods after a ride can help support recovery and reduce soreness. Carbohydrates are essential for replenishing glycogen stores, while protein is important for muscle repair and growth. Fats can also provide sustained energy.

Timing of post-ride meals is also important. Meals should be eaten within 30 minutes of finishing the ride in order to optimize recovery. A good post-ride meal could include a carbohydrate-rich snack such as a banana, followed by a meal that includes both carbohydrates and proteins such as a chicken and quinoa salad.

Supplements for Masters Cycling

While whole foods should be the primary source of nutrition for masters cyclists, supplements can also be useful for providing extra nutrients and energy during rides. Carbohydrate gels and bars can provide a quick source of energy, while electrolyte supplements can help replace lost electrolytes. Protein powders can also be useful for supporting muscle growth and recovery, but should be used in moderation.

Multivitamins can be useful for ensuring that the body is receiving all of the necessary micronutrients, but should not be used as a replacement for a healthy masters cyclist diet.

My go-to for Cycling Supplements is TheFeed. They offer great deals on sports nutrition and healthy snacks from all the top brands, including Clif Bar, Skratch, Maurten, Gu, Bonk Breaker, Honey Stinger.


In conclusion, masters cycling is a demanding sport that requires adequate nutrition to meet the energy demands of training and competition. Eating a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can help to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle damage. Additionally, consuming micronutrients like vitamins and minerals can support overall health and recovery. Hydration is also critical, as dehydration can lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury.

Proper timing of meals, particularly in relation to training and competition, can further optimize performance. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help masters cyclists to create personalized nutrition plans that support their unique needs and goals. With the right fuel and hydration strategies, masters cyclists can achieve their best results and enjoy a long, healthy cycling career.

Useful Resouces

Comprehensive Review of the Most Popular Masters Cycling Training Programs

How Old is too Old for a Masters Cyclist to Race Mountain Bikes?

Cycling Motivation-How to Stay Motivated as a Masters Cyclist

Cycling Hydration

Cycling Nutrition

Rest Recovery

How to Use Carbs


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