Early Morning Breakfast for Cyclists
Breakfasts set the tone for the rest of the day. Eat too much, and you’ll end up bloated for hours. Too little and you’ll be constantly starving and overeating for the rest of the day. Give in to sugary treats and you’ll feel tired soon after. Messing up the first meal of the day is ridiculously easy, and the effects often last the entire day.
This can be especially annoying for cyclists, as the wrong breakfast can leave them feeling drowsy, bloated or overall way too tired to even ride 100 meters. What they should be aiming for is food that leaves them energized and ready to rock the road!
Of course, this isn’t one of those “one size fits all” kind of things. Though there are universally understood guidelines (such as eating eggs early in the morning will forever be better than a cheeseburger), everyone should experiment a little and find exactly what works best for them as individuals. Keep this in mind when asking yourself the age-old question: “Should I eat before or after a workout?”, because the answer is that you should eat whenever it makes you feel more awake, satisfied and active, regardless of widely accepted trends.
Think of the Length of Your Race
The first thing you have to keep in mind is what kind of riding you’ll be doing. You won’t have to eat the same way for a short morning commute as you would for a 5-hour marathon, you’d need different kinds of fuel. Knowing exactly what you’ll do, will allow smart planning.
For a short ride, you need to keep things simple but powerful. Go for proteins and lighter food. Many cyclists opt for an egg omelette, avocado toast, and some fruits. Others go for oatmeal and eggs. And if you’re one of those that just don’t have an appetite first thing in the morning, don’t worry about it, grab a smoothie and have a proper breakfast once you finish your ride.
Contrastingly, for longer rides, you need to be prepared. Biking is serious exercise and if you’re doing it for more than 3 hours straight, you will get hungry. Professional cyclists tend to eat breakfast twice before a big, long, race. That way, they avoid feeling hungry just a few hours into the race.
Planning is Everything
The key to a good breakfast is planning ahead of time. You need to make sure you have the right ingredients and wake up at the right time to eat it without rushing. In fact, a good breakfast starts the night before. So long as you have a good night’s sleep and choose the type of breakfast that will make you feel energized, you’ll be fine.
Beware of Animal Protein
Generally, animal protein can make you feel bloated and dehydrated, two things you will not want to feel in the middle of a race. What’s more, it requires a lot more energy to digest and it can take a really long time, so even if you eat it well before your race, you might still be digesting while riding which will make you feel foggy. If you want to feel lighter and faster during a ride, you need to eat lighter foods.