View Full Version : Pre/post ride foods

05-04-2004, 04:40 PM
Hey everyone

Was wondering what you guys eat before and after your rides? I've read up on how you should carb up a couple hours before a ride and also eat some right after you're done. What are the best carbs to take in before (I'm under the impression pastas and rice are) and after (that I'm not so sure of)?

I might mention that I've got crohn's disease (gut inflammation for lack of a better description), which makes eating entertaining sometimes. Today I ate thai food at lunch then a clif bar before my ride and well I about died on my club ride tonight. I have no desire to eat now either, but know I should. So I'm sort of looking for gut friendly foods too (no nuts for example :) )

Sorry to make it complicated, but hoping to get some good ideas from you.


05-04-2004, 07:08 PM
If I'm doing an early morning ride I like to eat some sort of pastry - usually Peppridge Farm raspberry turnovers. They sit well for me and seem to give me lots of energy. They should - it's like 900 calories for the pair! :p If I have the day off and I'm not going to ride until 8:30 or 9, I'll do my usual breakfast of an English muffin - sandwich size with peanut butter.

If it's an afterwork ride (usually no more than 2 hours in length) I don't eat anything after lunch. But I do have use Gatorade as my drink of choice.

A lot of it is experimentation - finding what works with your particular body.

If I've ridden after work, a lot of the time I don't eat dinner. I'll have a Red Bull and a lot of water.


05-04-2004, 07:31 PM
I've been experimenting with this- I find that oatmeal is the best thing I can eat before I ride...
post ride I'll drink some soy beverage, with a banana- and a bit of protein powder tossed in...that seems to be good.
Today- I was really exhausted post ride- I had a bagel loaded with peanut butter and raspberry jam. And milk.

I'd appreciate any other suggestions as well!


05-04-2004, 07:35 PM
before an early mornging ride, I find that a breakfast bar or a bowl of cereal like untoasted muesli is pretty good. Muesli has a low GI and therefore provides a slow steady release of energy over a couple of hours - if you add some fruit like peaches, this is high GI and will give you a quick energy boost to get you started until the muesli's energy kicks in. How much you eat depends on how far you're going, ie a big bowl of cereal is great if you'll be much more than 2hrs, if its only a 1hr ride fuit might be ok.

Be careful, I know some people say that if they eat dairy before a ride they get stomach cramps, but not me. If the ride is after work have a good lunch with either bread rolls , rice or pasta and follow it up with a muffin or something just before your ride. After a ride I'm a firm believer in lots of water (to replace lost fluids) and a 1 slice of bread honey sandwhich or fruit before you shower. This gives you the energy to get through your shower and whatever until your next meal, because after a ride of 2 or more hours your energy supplies will be low. Don't forget fruit, snacks or money on rides of 3hrs or longer. Experiment, you'll quickly learn what your body doesn't want you to eat just before a ride. :)

05-05-2004, 05:56 AM
I always have a pouched egg on toast! Always, it's like my "pre" must eat meal! AND as I live in the Seattle area my "special" swirl mocha from Starbucks . . . a nonfat grande swirl mocha with 2 pumps of white syrup, one pump of regular, topped off with whipped cream! Always! I even got my husband into drinking them! :D During my ride, diluted powerade and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and after my ride . . . anything delicious with carbs and protein! Summer time bbq with hamburgers or chicken and a nice salad with veggies and a pasta, potato, or rice side dish for example. And of course dessert, too! :p


05-05-2004, 08:16 AM
Im a mega picky eater and just figured out a few weeks ago that i have problems digesting fructose and high fructose corn syrup, so I have to stay away from those sorts of foods- which means really diluting the Gatorade! I like peanut butter toast pre ride, or part of a Cliff Bar- just a little bit of fuel to get going- and i take some with me as well. I LOVE to have Grape Nuts and soy milk afterwards though- probably has the same effect as museli!

Anyone else have a problem with poor riding after eating pizza the night before? I adore pizza, but everytime ive gone for a ride the next day it just sits in my gut and I cant climb a hill or turnover at all.

05-05-2004, 09:55 AM
i started riding in the morning before work, now that regular classes are out, and I usually have 1/2 a bowl of total cereal with soy milk before, and a small slice of broccoli-cheese quiche afterward (quiche freezes easily, so i don't have to make scrambled eggs every day :))

granola (w/o nuts-- Hodgeson Mills makes good, lowfat nut-free granola) with yogurt and blueberries (that's what i had today!! :D), or banana oatmeal is good too (if there's more time-- plain oatmeal cooked with a mashed up banana and soy milk).

on club rides, i usually have a lunabar before, nothing after until the next meal. i used to eat a luna during the ride too, even on shorter rides, but i try not to eat anything else if the ride is 1.5 hrs or shorter. generally a cliff during a longer ride, or a coffee break, just to keep the blood sugar up.

before races, we always end up getting subway the night before. i get the veggie delite with cheese (kinda wreks the "lite" part, but oh well!). let me tell you, after the racing season, i am soooo sick of subway. :p breakfast right before is a cliff or homemade trailmix (cereal, soy nuts, craisins, cashews, and granola :)) and lots and lots of water!

my friend eats Mickey D's egg McMuffins, or those "hotcakes" they have now. a couple of the guys swear by "taco cabana"-- this random (greasy!!) mexican restaurant near the IL/IN border... i don't think that would sit well with me... :p ;) :D

05-05-2004, 11:36 AM
I see lots of you are talking about soy milk. Just curious - why soy rather than bovine? :)


05-05-2004, 12:11 PM
I train in the mornings with a triathlon class here at university and then i eat my breakfast afterwards- the GrapeNuts. Its just easier that way and im normally hungry by that point! But i have soy milk since it takes a week or two to go bad, and i can buy some at Trader Joes and it comes in a square carton- i just throw it in the kit bag and off it goes- can get squished into lockers or whatever and not spill, and doesnt have to be refrigerated before i open it. Its an easy solution rather!

Fultzie- Do you have a good quiche recipe? I dont like eggs, but for some reason i adore quiche! I like your idea though.

I used to race with guys who SWORE by Arbys post-race- once we went there and they ate 5 each- how disgusting is that?!

05-05-2004, 12:53 PM
I use my mom's "guesstimate and dump" method for quiche :D

i start with a pie crust ("Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates" has a good whole-wheat recipe, but you can buy whole-wheat frozen at Whole Foods, and regular frozen at any grocery store- and they work just as well! :))

pile the sauteed broccoli (about 2-3 cups) and a large handful of cheese (or cooked spinach and feta, or ham and cheese, or whatever you like in the quiche) in the center of the crust

in a bowl scramble eight eggs, add some fat-free half and half, while stirring, until it's a pale yellow (usually depends on taste)... then dump the egg mixture over the filling and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until it's not "jiggly" anymore :) (stick a knife in the center to see if it comes out clean)

it's really easy to freeze if you cut it ahead of time... then when you want a piece you can just thaw and reheat!

soymilk- i read about rBgh (hormones they put in cows to make them fatter and juicey-er and produce more milk) causing breast cancer, so i gave up meat and milk for about 9 months, but i didn't feel like i had enough energy when i got into biking, so i started eating meat again (mostly fish and poultry)... but i developed a taste for soymilk! i don't drink it alone, but i use it in coffee and tea and with cereal. it's mostly psychosematic (i feel "healthier"), but i like how the soymilk is flavored too... i don't have to add sugar to my drinks or oatmeal, and it covers up the cardboard taste of whole grain Total :p

ooh, speaking of breakfasts, does anyone read Bicycling Magazine? a few months ago (December) they had a waffle recipe printed in the Letters section... i keep meaning to try it! maybe i'll make it as pancakes this weekend (no waffle iron :( ) before my saturday ride :D

05-05-2004, 07:49 PM
ooh, speaking of breakfasts, does anyone read Bicycling Magazine? a few months ago (December) they had a waffle recipe printed in the Letters section... i keep meaning to try it! maybe i'll make it as pancakes this weekend (no waffle iron :( ) before my saturday ride :D [/QUOTE]

Hey- that's funny! I was just reading that letter yesterday and decided to try that recipe too!
The guys made some disparaging remark about Eggos and ended with "Go out and hammer all day"

As far as soymilk goes- I understand it's easier to digest and loaded with calcium and other nutrients.Also- something aboutreplacing simple carbs I think..anyway- That's why I drink it...
It sure isn't the taste!!!!Well- it's okay blendered with a banana...


05-06-2004, 04:00 AM
This is great. Thanks everyone! Keep em coming :)

05-06-2004, 08:08 AM
Ohh easy quiche recipe! I will definitely try it- i adore quiche to no end, and this one looks easy enough, will try the spinach and feta since i have some at home!

Thanks for that!

Maybe we should start a recipe thread?

05-06-2004, 10:34 AM
Yes to a recipe thread!

Check out the ingredients in the frozen pie crusts before you buy one. Hydrogenated lard? No thanks!

I don't eat anything before I go out (always early morning), but if I'm out longer than 2 hours, I'll have a luna bar or some such non-food, good energy bar. I like cytomax in one water bottle - it works for me.

If it's the weekend & I'm doing a really long ride, gotta have oatmeal. Easy on the tummy, good carbs & it sticks with ya!

05-06-2004, 10:56 AM
I don't ride mornings except for weekends and go with the 'ol stand by of PB, w/w toast and banana. I know you aren't supposed to drink coffee cause of dehydration and all that, but gotta have the morning brew!

For my after work rides, I keep food at work and try to have a late afternoon snack of yogurt/banana or w/w english muffin w/peanut butter. If I'm out of food, then power bar or gel. I find that if I don't eat something, then the ride stinks cause I'm struggling w/low energy. So having learned the hard way, I always eat before going out.

Did a 28 mile dinner ride w/local bike club last night, only had time for a power bar before which was perfect. I also ride w/one water bottle of accelerade and 1 plain water. I can't drink gatorade while riding - makes me sick. By experimenting I found the accelerade works very well for me. Kind of pricey, but what isn't in this sport? :)

05-06-2004, 05:55 PM
I'm a new rider and have been doing longish rides in a training series on Saturdays (currently up to 50+ miles). I find that my best breakfast is 1c edamame and 1c white beans with 1T of dressing. Sounds weird but it really holds me over until lunch.

05-06-2004, 08:25 PM
This may sound like a stupid question, but what is edamame?

Adventure Girl
05-06-2004, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by ausgirl
This may sound like a stupid question, but what is edamame?

They're soy beans. They are delicious!:) (FYI, pronounced eh - duh - ma - me). You can get them in Japanese restaurants and some health food stores frozen. Just boil and eat!

05-07-2004, 08:52 AM
I do a 30-mile group ride every Thursday night after work, which is on the upper end of what I can do without a rest stop to eat a snack, and I've found myself getting hungry during the ride the past couple of weeks because it's relatively fast, and I'm burning a lot of calories. Last night I ate a very rich banana and chocolate chip muffin (my husband's homemade!) right before the ride, and I never felt any hunger. In fact, I rode with a lot of energy and faster than usual right up til the end. :)

I'm one of those lucky souls who can eat right before or during a ride and not suffer from it. :) I think I'll have a muffin every week since it worked so well - I think the fat helps it stick to my ribs a bit better than a purely carbohydrate snack.


05-07-2004, 04:12 PM
Edamama is (are?) a great source of protein for vegetarians.

Here is a recipe I made up using these wonder-beans:

(Sorry if amounts are inexact. I cook by taste, smell and "feel").


1/3 C rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
juice of one lime
garlic(to taste), minced
grated fresh ginger (to taste)
red chili paste (found in Asian markets--it's hot!--to taste).

Mix together in a small bowl.


1 lb pasta (Asian noodles if ya got'em, linguine works too, even plain ramen noodles!).

Boil and drain according to package directions. Place in large bowl.


1/2 lb shelled edamame with chopped brocoli florets and matchstick carrots. Blanch and refresh. Drain and add to the large bowl.

Toss pasta and edamame/veggies with dressing. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Add more chili paste if you like it spicy!

Sorry, this recipe isnt really for "weak" tummies!

Adventure Girl
05-07-2004, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by pedalfaster

Here is a recipe I made up using these wonder-beans:

This looks tasty! I'm going to try it (but with just a dash of the chili paste--I'm not much for eating hot stuff :eek: ).

It does look like a recipe category might be useful! How about it, Administrator? :D

05-07-2004, 05:38 PM
We found chili paste at Raley's. It goes into a Thai salad I make.


05-17-2004, 07:37 AM
Since i'd have to agree that frozen crust ingredients can be a little scary.... here's a really easy crust recipe that i used last night:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup chilled butter
1/2 cup cold water
* for sweet pies, substitute orange juice for water and add a 1/2 tsp ea. of vanilla and sugar

cut the butter into little pieces. mix butter and flour using a pastry cutter or two knives (like you're slicing the mixture in opposite directions...) until it looks like a coarse meal.
slowly add water while stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms (you might not need all the water). divide dough into two balls and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a diameter of 12 in.
form in pie pan, add filling, and bake until flaky at 375 degrees F.

yummie! (i made an asparagus, spinach, onion, and feta quiche last night with this crust :))

05-17-2004, 09:04 AM
i made an asparagus, spinach, onion, and feta quiche last night

ok, now I'm really really hungry.....


05-21-2004, 08:02 AM
My favorite breakfast is 2 toasted brown rice and raisin bread slices (one side with almond butter and the other with a sprinkle of cinnamon). Whole Foods' brand of almond butter mixes very well if you get the chunky version. I also use liberal amounts of butter (the only dairy I can tolerate). I don't really follow any type of carbo, fat or protein ratio, but I try to include all of them in all of my meals and snacks to keep the blood sugar on an even keel.

Oddly, I seem to have much less gastrointestinal stress since I switched five years ago to eating gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free (except butter), and no refined-sugar or white/wheat flour. I know I must sound like a freak, but I wouldn't go back to eating how I used for anything because I feel so much better. Of course, I was tested and found out I had a lot of food allergies and when I do cheat, I really pay for it. But, my tummy is so much better :)

BTW, fultzie, go blue! (my alma mater!) :)

05-21-2004, 03:16 PM
okay, this is a completely unsolicited recipe, but i made some of these muffins last night and brought them in to work (as a Friday and Bike to Work Week treat) to rave reviews :D
i saved two for fuel during my ride tomorrow... thought i'd share the recipe with you ladies! (my mom- gretchen- gets most of the credit, it's based off of her AWESOME zucchini bread recipe, which i shamelessly stole, made, and ate in one sitting ;) :p :D)

3 eggs
2 c. applesauce (unsweetened is fine, unless you have a major sweet-tooth :D)
3/4 c. oil (i use canola, but veggie works just as well)
1 c. quick-oats
2 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3 t. cinnamon

dump all ingredients into a large bowl. mix well (really well-- the baking powder/soda and the sugar tend to clump). preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. fill muffin tin with batter... approx 18 muffins (or you can also make two small loaves of bread). sprinkle tops with additional oats and cinnamon. bake for ~45 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. they are really moist thanks to the oil and applesauce, and yummie too!

*if anyone has any more good salad/muffin/bread/cookie... or really ANY good recipes that they'd like to share, i'd love to try them! i try a new recipe every week (actually, this week it was two- zucchini/avocado/chicken salad and these muffins) and would LOVE tips! :D

PS. yogabear- go blue!! :D hooray for MI women on bikes!!! ;) and your toast sounds really yummie... i'm going to have to swing by whole foods this weekend :)

06-12-2011, 08:00 AM
bumping this thread in hopes that others will give their opinions on pre/post ride foods...

quick comment on bananas before a ride... don't! lots of people seem to do bananas before sports but for me it brings instant nausea.

06-12-2011, 03:13 PM
I must be a weird one because I like lots of protein. I have to have atleast two eggs and three strips of turkey bacon to not completely bonk or feel like total poo after the ride.

06-12-2011, 04:28 PM
Emily - Banana and Choc Chip Muffin, sounds yummy. Could you post the 'recipe', pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee.:D

06-12-2011, 04:35 PM
I used to race with guys who SWORE by Arbys post-race- once we went there and they ate 5 each- how disgusting is that?!

Five Arbys sandwiches in one sitting? :confused: My oh my. I worked there in high school and it was probably 15 years before I could bring myself to even try one of those again.

I've found myself making a quick protein shake with whey powder, milk and chocolate ovaltine. Pop it in the magic bullet and it gets nice and frothy quick. I'm not saying it's delicious, but it does seem like an effective recovery drink.

+1 on almond butter. YUM. Trader Joes has it cheap too.

06-12-2011, 04:37 PM
Hmmm...I do just fine with bananas pre-ride and during. Infact, I eat a banana (on a piece of toasted Ezekial bread w/PB) nearly every single morning as my pre-ride or pre-workout meal. During our ride today, DH and I shared a banana mid-ride at a rest stop. Aside, from the fact that the banana was too ripe for my liking (I like mine a tad bit under ripe), it sat in my tummy fine. But everyone's different, so YMMV.

06-12-2011, 05:30 PM
I can't do fruit alone for anything over about 10 miles. I burn through it way too fast and get hungry.

I need a mix of fat, protein and carbs pre-ride. Eggs are too much (I don't like them anyway), but a generous portion of nuts in my cereal or a few strips of bacon work fine. Then I can add fruit or fruit juice.

Post-ride...anything and everything. Big thing for me (especially in hot weather) is salt. I also like a bit of caffeine because I'm prone to headaches after my rides. I like a can of Coke, a meat-containing sandwich, and chips. The other thing that works for me is a trip to Starbucks and a bag of chips. :o Depends when I'm riding.

06-12-2011, 08:41 PM
I usually ride in the morning. I have tea, honey, and oatmeal. Oatmeal keeps me powered though my whole ride. I don't usually eat anything on rides unless it is more than 30 miles. I am probably the wrong person to ask about post rides cause I get **** all the time from my boyfriend, a pro cyclist. After a ride I am told you are supposed to have protein. I usually eat veggies and crave salty crackers or some bread or fruit with salt on it. I don't really like protein, it hurts my stomach, so I don't eat much of it besides soymilk. Why soy milk v.s. cows. Well I am vegan, and I like the taste better. Hope that helps.

06-13-2011, 10:55 AM
Oatmeal does nothing for me. Even if I put vast amounts of PB or nuts and sugar in it, it does nothing. It doesn't get into my system fast enough, and happily mops up any fat I've eaten. I'm starving after about 10 miles.
I do need to eat on the ride, though, even if it's relatively short (10-15)--at least a chew thing at my turnaround. Apparently I'm not terribly efficient, or I'm not eating enough beforehand.:rolleyes: