Refuelling is crucial for long distance riding. Your cycling diet has got to be right. You can't carry a three course meal with you so you need to choose the right mixture of food to keep you energized and that you can easy carry on your bike. Also bear in mind that the stomach is not ready to absorb heavy food while you are riding hard.
Here's a few ideas to keep you energized on your long ride.
Essential. You need to keep hydrated during your ride. The body loses water fast especially on a long distance ride. Water is a crucial part of your cycling diet. Dehydration will lead to a dip in your performance and also begin to affect your health. You can experience headache and cramps, so make sure you have enough water. You will probably have to stop to refill your bottles. Don't hesitate to do this. Keep hydrated; by the time you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Drink lots of water the evening before your ride and drink plenty more before you begin. Drink during your ride. It is always better to play safe, too much water is better than too little. You will need to stop along the journey to refill the water bottles. Always keep hydrated.
I love energy drinks. They provide you with quick energy and contain glucose for the muscles. Your muscles need topping up because after an hour or two of exercise your glycogen levels will begin to drop. Energy bars are a must for my own cycling diet when I am out riding.
These are great because they are easy to carry and easily digestible. They contain the nutrients you will need and are high in energy. Look for bars that are easy to chew, easy to digest and contain about 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 10% fat. Energy bars are dense so you will need to drink plenty of water to make sure you digest them.
Bananas are a great source of easily digestible energy. A few bananas are an essential part of my food stocks when I am out on a long ride. They are easy to carry and offer a slow release of energy. The day before the bike ride I personally would eat a high energy food like pasta. This will build up your energy levels for the big ride.
A good cycling diet will enhance your ability to complete a long cycle ride without suffering any strain or muscle cramps. Your cycling diet is as important as your fitness training in helping you to maintain your energy levels.