Pedal Power: Fuel Up with These Cycling Snacks

Cycle food for energy

If you thought that healthy snacks are important energy boosters in between meals, you thought right. As much as portable, healthy snacks have hit their stride when it comes to the grab-and-go for the commute, or having something at the ready when “parking it” at your desk, they’re really on a roll when it comes to fueling bike rides.

So in addition to water (crucial for good hydration; squeeze in some fresh citrus and/or a little green tea), and/or a no-sugar-added sports drink, what are the go-to snacks for cycling that are healthy and digestible; ones that won’t weigh you down, won’t slow you up, and won’t distract while on the road?

Here are some with the carbs to keep you going, and the flavor to satisfy your taste buds. They’ll do triple duty on the bike, on the road, and at the desk:

  • Bite-Size Burrito. Almond or peanut butter with agave, honey, jam, or kiwi. A little cooked egg with tabasco and brown rice. Pick your combo! Fill a whole grain tortilla or wrap, then cut into mini sections for that insulated pouch.
  • Don’t peel off without a banana. A recent published study showed that potassium-rich bananas (known for helping to regulate the body’s fluid balance) have similar to greater anti-inflammatory benefits compared to sports drinks.
  • Flavored gels. These gooey, squeezable packets have gotten pretty popular, and come in a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. As with all food products, check the nutrition labels carefully for caffeine, potassium, and sodium, along with carbs, fructose, and glucose. A good mix of fuel sources equals more sustainable energy for longer treks.
  • Go with the grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Whole grains pack a punch. Go beyond just barley, brown rice, and oatmeal. Mix it up with millet or add in amaranth, along with dried fruit and nuts. Quinoa (technically a seed), has more protein than any other grain. If you go the energy bar route, seek those with no added sugar, or search online for a healthy recipe, and make your own.

By Lisa Miceli Feliciano

Sources include: www.eatright.org, www.journals.plos.org, www.wholegrainscouncil.org

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