12 Best Pre Cycling Food

A great meal before going on a bike ride can make all the difference in the world. There are some people who are very religious as far as what they want to eat before every ride, while others look to vary things up as much as possible.

What are a few of the top choices out there for individuals that make sense? No matter what type of food a person prefers on a regular basis, there are some things that should work just fine as a way to fuel up before getting on the bike. It might not seem like it would make a huge deal, but the right fuel can help a person get to the next level from a cycling perspective.


Not that many people who have yet to try quinoa understand exactly what it brings to the table. It is an alternative to rice in a lot of dishes, and it has a rather bland taste overall. Most people are going to combine quinoa with something else so that they get all the nutrients they need without having to sacrifice taste.

The reason why quinoa is so great is that it can work in both sweet and savory options. There are a lot of people who want something very specific when they wake up, and the best way to get that is to go with the flavors they want, and then try to add some additional flavors to the mix. Since quinoa is so versatile, there is a way to not worry too much about what exactly it is used with.


Pasta – Pre Cycling Food

Pasta seems more like a lunch or dinner option, but plenty of people will load up on pasta in the morning as well if they know that they are going on a long ride. It is one of the best options for slow release energy food, as a person will have everything converted to energy slowly but surely.

A lot of people leading up to a longer ride will eat pasta each and every day, and that make sure that the glycogen stores are at maximum capacity.

As for what to eat in the morning, it really comes down to personal preference. Nearly all pastas are going to provide some value overall, so do not be afraid to switch things up and try some new combinations.

In fact, some people should not worry at all about eating something that is traditionally for lunch or dinner in the morning. Even if it might not be a new occurrence that happens all the time, it is still worth checking out.

One thing to keep in mind is to stay away from any heavy sauces or anything else that does not provide a lot of carbohydrate or protein. This is where a person needs to switch up how they think compared to a more traditional setting for pasta.

It is pretty common for people to try to chow down and have a pretty satisfied meal with pasta, but do not be afraid to keep things a little bit on the lighter side in this regard.

Certain Bread Options

Bread – Pre Cycling Food

Listing bread by itself is probably fine to do, but there are certain bread options that are way more valuable than others. It is generally speaking a high carbohydrate food with low GI, which means the cyclists who are doing a long ride will have plenty of energy the entire time. The reality is that there are certain bread options better than others, so shopping for the right one makes a difference.

Whole grain, multi grain, and rye bread are all considered healthier choices for people who are snacking on a lot of bread. Stay away from white bread, as it is a bit unhealthy and does not provide the same amount of value overall. Some people have grown up eating a certain type of bread, and it is hard to make a change, but when other ingredients are added, it might be a little easier.

For a full meal, bread by itself does not make a ton of sense. That is why people will look into adding peanut butter or jam to the mix if they want. Another option is to possibly add some protein to the mix if it is not too early for that. Bread can also be a side addition for a full or meal if a person opts for protein.

The only negative about bread is that it is a little hard to keep it fresh and ready to go. Some people become very frustrated with the fact that they have to buy a new loaf of bread all the time, even if they do not eat all of it. One way is to freeze it or at least refrigerate it, but even that can be difficult at times.


Often overlooked as one of the less popular breakfast options, porridge is a great food choice for people who want to have something a little bit different to start their day. It does tend to leave people with a bit of a full stomach, so eating a little bit earlier in the day is the best way to consume porridge overall.

The reason why people shy away from porridge overall is that it might not be the tastiest option by itself. It does not have a bad taste by any means, but it does not bring people the same type of joy by itself.

That is when being creative with some additional flavors is something that can be very beneficial. Throwing in a variety of fruits, or maybe a jam for that matter, can really bolster how it tastes overall. It might not be the new choice every single time for a new ride, but it is a way to vary things up and not make it all monotonous when preparing for a ride.


Muffin – Pre Cycling Food

This is a somewhat indulgent option for people who want to make a pre-ride food choice a little fun. It is a great mix of carbohydrates and fats that can give people the energy they need for the entire ride. Not everyone is into this as a healthy option, but most of the calories will be completely burned off by the end of the ride.

The one thing to keep in mind is that most carbohydrates that come from muffins come from sugar, so it might not be the healthiest thing in the world. The butter is what provides the fat as well, and not everyone is going to be crazy about having that amount of somewhat empty calories in their body.

However, it does not take much to fill up, and they are pretty affordable as well. It is definitely worth trying out if it seems like some of the other options are a bit too bland. Maybe this is not the choice every single time before a race, but if nothing else is sounding that tasty, give a muffin a try and see how it goes.


Fruits – Pre Cycling Food

Bananas are in a class by itself, but there are plenty of other fruits out there that make a good option when it comes to breakfast. They are pretty easy to cut up and eat, and most of them have a high glycemic index that will give a person a good amount of energy. Combine them with something that has more complex carbohydrates and proteins, and it is a great way to go.

Fruits also help to balance out the diet a bit, as there are some people who are constantly looking at all these different grains that are put in the body. It can be a bit monotonous to only eat that in the morning, so bringing some variety to the table certainly helps out.

There is certainly no lack of flavor when adding fruit to a breakfast. They might not be the greatest to eat themselves, but they are light enough that they can be added to just buy anything and enhance the experience.


Yogurt Pre Cycling Food

Yogurt is a great base option for people who want to combine a bunch of other ingredients so that they get exactly the kind of taste they are looking for. With so many yogurt options out there, people can find exactly what they want and feel satisfied that they are eating something quick and easy before riding.

Yogurt brings some pretty complex carbohydrates and proteins to the table, as that is a perfect solution for people who want to make sure that they have the energy they need. Just make sure to eat an hour or two before the ride, as it does take some time for everything to break down.

It is a bit slower acting than some of the other options out there, but it is still very valuable for people who want to have something different.

Yogurt also helps with muscle recovery, which is always a positive for people who are on the bike for a long period of time. Do not be afraid to try a few different combinations out with yogurt and see what works. People can add fruit, nuts, jams, or other types of spread and still feel like they are getting a good snack overall.


Granola Pre Cycling Food

Granola is one of the better options out there when it comes to carbohydrates. It is made of whole grains, which means that everything is not broken up by the body as easily as some of the cheaper cereals out there. This is great news for cyclists, as the energy is released a little slower and allows the body to pace itself for a longer ride overall.

Granola comes in a lot of varieties, as a person will use it for some crunch on top of the food, or to eat by itself. It is also a great ingredient to make something feel more substantial, which is a positive for sure. Finally, there are some people who eat granola much like to eat cereal, which is also a choice worth considering.

Having the versatility of granola is certainly something that will vary things up a bit in the kitchen. There are way too many people who stick with just a few main choices, but granola is something that can stay in a cabinet for quite a while and provide value again and again.


Bagels – Pre Cycling Foor

There are a lot of people who like to start the day with a bagel in the first place, but they are actually a good option for those who are about to go on a long ride. Not everyone wants to eat something like cereal, and a bagel is something that is pretty easy to grab and go from there.

It serves as a great source of carbohydrates, as just one bagel can get a person around 300 calories and over 55 grams of carbohydrates. Not only that, but it has a surprising source of protein, which is the perfect combination for a cyclist.

To really enhance the value of a bagel, picking the right topping can really help out considerably. Some people will put peanut butter on their bagel, while others start off of cream cheese. Sprinkling something like Chia seeds can definitely help, but even the type of bagel makes a difference as well. A multigrain or whole wheat bagel, much like a slice of bread, is going to be a little bit healthier than other options.

Some people absolutely have to have their bagel toasted, while others will eat them without any type of preparation. It is definitely something that is worth exploring for a simple breakfast, and with so many toppings to choose from, the possibilities are endless.

Chia Seeds

There is no doubt about the fact that Chia seeds are still a relative unknown to a lot of people out there. They might not seem like much at all, but for people who do a lot of exercising, they can provide some natural energy boosting without changing a person’s overall ability to enjoy life in general.

The best thing is that if a person does not want to mess with flavor, Chia seeds are pretty much flavorless. That makes them a great option to add to other combinations of food, all while getting some healthy benefits along the way.

Throwing Chia seeds into anything in the morning is going to be a great way to enhance the cooking just a bit. A lot of people will throw them into a smoothie or shake, and it grinds up pretty easily. Sticking it on top of anything that is creamy is also a great way to get another boost.

Mess around with a few different combinations, and see what works. Chia seeds are something that can be relatively inexpensive, and just having them around can be a great option overall. Just make sure that they make an appearance every once in a while, as it is pretty easy to forget all the benefits they provide since they do not have any distinct flavor.


Banana – Pre Cycling Food

Athletes count on bananas quite a bit when it comes to picking a fruit before using up a lot of energy. There are a lot of people who believe that bananas are the best of the best as far as natural solutions are concerned.

Getting a banana into the body before a race, or even snacking on something in the middle of a race like a banana, can make a big deal for people who need that extra bit of energy. It is pretty easy to digest, and it helps to avoid any type of cramping or other issues that might pop up.

Cramping is something that a lot of people who become dehydrated are really worried about when they are riding for long periods of time. That is why getting some banana into the body, as well as some water, feels like a bit of a way to rejuvenate a person overall.

Bananas by themselves can get a little tiresome, so think about adding something like protein powder and making a smoothie, or dipping the banana in peanut butter. Whatever it takes to switch things up a bit, bananas are worth having around and they are very inexpensive for some energy boost when needed most.

Peanut Butter

Penut Butter – Pre Cycling Food

Take a look at just about every food listed above. What do they all have in common? Well, peanut butter is something that can mesh with just about anything on his list, which makes it a great option for people who are looking for a little more substance to their food before going on a ride.

Peanut butter is one of the most affordable ways to get a good amount of protein before taking off. Not a lot of people are thinking about eating fish or lean meats in the morning, but peanut butter is pretty easy to throw onto something, or included in part of a shake or smoothie. It only takes a couple of tablespoons to get a full serving, and people will feel the benefits for quite a while.

That combination of protein and carbohydrates when joining grains or bananas is a perfect combination. Not only that, but there are so many people out there who just love the overall taste of peanut butter.

It feels in a lot of way like a treat more than anything, but people are blown away with how many health benefits it provides as well. There is even the option of going with a creamy butter if a person prefers that taste, or something crunchy that makes sense for an individual. Play around with different options out there, and see what is the best of the best.

What and When to Eat Before Cycling

It is common to have questions about what pre-cycling foods make the best options. While all of the food above are perfect options, there are plenty of people who are still in need of more information so that they maximize effectiveness.

Most people have experienced some level of discomfort by eating too close to exercising. It might not be the same for everyone, but try to give the body some time to digest everything so that nothing feels too uncomfortable. Try to eat at least an hour before if possible, although it heavily depends on what a person eats.

Something that is not too complex means that it can be consumed just about at any point. If a person wants to eat something a little heavier, try to do so in the morning and give it a few hours. Some people even opt to eat something very heavy the night before and benefit from those carbohydrates and proteins hours and hours later.

What to Eat Before Cycling Long Distance

As one might expect, the amount of fuel the body needs depends on the length of the ride, the difficulty of the ride, and the person in general.

One of the easier ways to keep things in mind is that for every hour of exercise, aim to get around 40 gram of protein overall. Obviously, a person can go up and down a bit depending on their individual preference, but protein is going to help keep the body energized and capable of holding up.

There are some who actually prefer to exercise on a pretty empty stomach, but it is still crucial to get some food in the body here and there. Think about eating a little earlier if possible, or focus on a bigger meal after the ride.

Those who do not eat any food before or after a ride are setting themselves up for some breakdowns with their body overall. It is generally considered a pretty bad idea to try to go that long without any type of food consumption.

When the ride is a bit shorter, the main goal should be all about focusing on fluids. The majority of people already have enough energy in their body based on what they had for a meal, so getting fluids in the body is going to keep everyone hydrated and energized enough to get through everything.

When the ride starts to get past an hour and go up to two or three hours, carbohydrates are becoming more and more important. Make sure that food consumed before the ride gives enough carbohydrates that will last a long time. A person is going to find it pretty difficult to get through an entire ride with an empty stomach if they are going for that length.

At the very least, try to eat something that is very lightweight, or drink a pre-made option that has some nutrients in it. There are a lot of companies that make food options like this, so it is not necessarily hard to get those nutrients. It is common for people not to feel like they want to make anything themselves, so a pre-packaged solution is perfectly fine.

Finally, a long ride is where people should really focus on that pre-ride meal. They say that breakfast is the most important part of the day, and that is especially true when going on a long ride like this.

No one should ever feel like they are extremely hungry when they have hours and hours of riding up in front of them. It is important not to eat anything too heavy so that a person does not feel bloated in the beginning, but at the same time, it needs to be a fairly full feeling so that it will last a long time. This is especially true for people who do not want to have anything to do with eating while they are riding.

Are Energy Drinks and Protein Bars Worth It For Pre Cycling?

Most of the focus of this article is on more natural food options, but these convenience solutions from companies work as well. Obviously some are better than others, but it all comes down to finding something that fits a person’s particular preferences and lifestyle in general.

At the end of the day, most people agree that it is a little more expensive to go with these bars and drinks that are already made. With that said, convenience plays a critical role in things, and some people just do not want to mess with changing up the routine and using up some valuable hours. It might make sense in some scenarios to just grab something and go from there.

Final Thoughts

Do not be afraid to try different things, but ultimately, people want to find what works best for them. If a person is riding a few times each week, eating the same thing every single time can get very boring. There should be enough options available to find exactly what seems to work best.

Overall, people should be excited about what they end up putting in their body to start the day. Find something that works, and start to build off of those foods from there. If a person has a nice rotation, they can start to feel very confident about their food choices in general.

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