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What Should You Eat during a Bike Race?

Learn what to eat during a bike race from racer Alexander Barouh in this Howcast road cycling video.

Transcript

Eating while you're riding is just as important as a meal you have before getting on your bike. When you're riding recreationally and not racing, you have more options to choose from. You can make a sandwich, you could eat nuts and fruit; you could have bars such as this, which are a little bit harder to chew. At the same time when you're racing, you want food that you can easily eat. Shop [? blocks] like this or goos, are definitely essential. A few good tips for eating during races, are opening the packages prior to starting your race. This will make it a lot easier for you to reach into your back pocket, chew on something, put it back in your pocket and continue racing. You don't want to start fiddling with opening a package, during a race. Another tip for bike racing is to take a gel, and actually put it right in your bibs. This allows you to easily grab it, rip it off, eat it, and put it in your back pocket. It's a lot easier than going into your back pocket, trying to grab it, and doing that. Staying hydrated on your bike is also critical. Racers usually have one bottle with just water, and another bottle with mix, whether it's just electrolytes, a bit of Nuun caplets, which provide a little bit of sugar, a little bit of salt. It's always important to continue drinking. The idea of drinking, taking a sip every 10 or 15 minutes, is something that you need to have ingrained in your head when you start bike racing. So, when you come into a race, depending on the distance, you want to be able to eat every 15 to 20 minutes, and drink every 15 to 20 minutes. So, keep that in mind. If it's a two hour race, you're going to want to have at least two bottles. You're going to want to have at least four to six gels. If it's for a longer race than two hours, you can always carry a third bottle in your back pocket. So as I said before, you want to choose food that's very easy to consume during a race. At the same time, bars such as Cliff bars, you want to save for training rides. Cliff bars are going to be a little bit hard to chew during a race. You're going to find you're going to take a big bite, it's going to be sitting in your mouth, and you won't be able to really swallow it for another 10 or 15 minutes.

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