It might not always be the number one thing on a person’s mind, but having a great post cycling meal at the right time can pay huge dividends. Even if a person does not have an appetite to eat a traditional meal, generally speaking, something is better than nothing.
What are some of the best post cycling meals out there today? It usually ends up comes down to what a person actually enjoys eating, as long as it stays in the rough range for nutrients.
First, we look at some of the classic meals that are easy to put together and excellent for recovery. After that, we look at a few different questions and concerns people might have about eating after a long ride.
1. Egg Omelette
An egg omelet is very easy to make, can be enhanced in a variety of ways, and is an affordable solution that a lot of people count on before and after a ride. This will provide a good amount of protein and other healthy nutrients that the body needs after a ride.
If it seems to be lacking a few carbohydrates, there is always a chance of adding some bread to the mix. A person can be pretty liberal with the size of the omelet, as it is a way to feel pretty comfortable overall with a filling meal choice.
2. Baked Potato
It takes a little bit of time to make a baked potato, but this is another option that can be dressed up pretty well. Some people will like a pretty plain baked potato overall, while others will want to put meat, cheese, vegetables, and more on it.
The versatility of a baked potato is one of the reasons why it is a great choice. If a person feels like they need a little more protein, they can add more protein.
If they need to focus on carbohydrates only, they have plenty of that to consume as well. These are pretty healthy overall, and a much better option for people who are trying to eat healthy compared to other potato-based products.
3. Oatmeal with Fruit
A combination of oatmeal (Amaz0n) and fruit will give people carbohydrates and proteins to recover quickly after a ride. It is pretty quick and easy to eat as well, which is always a positive for those who are on the go.
Most people will look at a banana as the ultimate fruit for recovery after biking. There are so many people out there who have to develop a taste for a banana, but once they do, they can’t get enough.
It is very easy to pack and be just a simple snack if a person is not particularly hungry as well. Chances are, there are at least a few bike riders in a group who have bananas on them pretty much at all times.
One added bonus of bananas is that they help with cramping if it seems like it is getting out-of-control. While it is important to also get hydrated and eat other foods, bananas come into play as well.
4. Beans and Rice
Rice and Beans (Amazon) are two staples of any type of full meal, as they are inexpensive and filling. They also just happen to provide the nutrients a person needs in order to stay healthy after a ride.
There are so many people out there who might not want to eat a full, heavy meal, but beans and rice barely feel like that at all.
It is a pretty simple process to set up the meal, and from there, people can really start to feel like they are recovering faster and bouncing back overall.
5. Chicken or Pork
White meat is generally considered a better option for recovery after a long ride. There are a lot of people who will turn to chicken or pork as the main course of a meal after a bike ride.
Can chicken and pork get a little monotonous? Certainly, but there are so many ways to dress it up that most people are just fine with. It all comes down to finding a formula that works, and sometimes that involves doing meal prep.
In other scenarios, people only want to prepare something that they can eat right in there. Take some time and think about the best options, and eventually, it will all come together.
6. Recovery Bars
This might not be the perfect meal for the variety of people out there, but it is still worth mentioning because it is probably the easiest. Some people live off of these recovery bars, and they are becoming tasty enough that people do not seem to mind.
The biggest negative with a recovery bar is that it is pretty small overall, so it might not be able to satisfy a person’s appetite as much as it should. When that happens, people might tend to overeat
as well, and that is ultimately not a good idea if someone is trying to meet their healthy expectations.
Do not be afraid to try out a few different flavors and see if there are any that really stick. They can get pretty expensive in some scenarios, but there is enough competition that the pricing is coming down.
There are so many people who seem to be very happy with these bars as a way to have something ready to go without ever having to step foot back home.
Those who do not necessarily go straight home after a ride will love the convenience of grabbing one of these and not having to worry otherwise.
Best Meals After a Bicycle Ride Q&A
There are bound to be people with questions about eating after a bike ride. Is it actually as important as doctors say? There are reasons why this is one of the biggest recommendations for riders who might be struggling to turn the corner.
Most Important Parts of a Great Post-Ride Meal?
There are two things in particular that every person should keep in mind when they are eating after a ride. A person needs to be filling their body up with a good amount of carbohydrates, as well as protein to refuel in just the right way.
They have specific roles in the way of recovery, and those who ignore them might fall behind.
Carbohydrates are great for glycogen repletion. When a person is not doing anything and living a pretty stagnant life overall, carbohydrates can be a negative.
When a person is very active, they are essential to make sure that the body is energized and ready to go not only for a ride, but after a ride as well.
A person who does not get enough carbohydrates will feel very sluggish and weak for a while after the ride. They also have a greater chance of not being able to bounce back from the ride and therefore not putting in the miles that they are hoping for.
As for protein, it is going to help repair and build muscles back up. Failure to get a little bit of protein into the body after a ride is going to slow down and the recovery process overall.
If the body can’t recover, it is more than likely going to be a little too tired out to perform the very next day.
The amount of exercise a person actually gets from a bike ride differs from person to person. Some people are going to get a big exercise day out of 20 or 30 miles, while others will need to go much longer to feel the same type of results.
Other factors such as age, sex, weight, and more will also play into just how much is needed.
The general rule for protein is to consume right around one gram of protein per pound of body weight during each day. Anything more than that, and the body is not able to process it and get the benefits out of it.
People should be striving for a ratio of 3:1 of carbohydrates to protein to really get the most out of a meal.
Eating a Full Meal After a Ride if they Are Not Hungry?
There are plenty of people out there who do not feel like they want to eat at all after they go on a long bike ride. Maybe they are just a little too tired out, and they have no appetite whatsoever.
When that is the case, there are alternatives, although they might not be what many consider a traditional meal.
The best way to go about it is to look at a meal in a different way. Maybe a person can get the nutrients they need through a liquid solution. There are chocolate milk options, fruit smoothies, recovery drinks, and more.
All these make sense for the rider who does not want to sit down and eat traditionally. They will not necessarily feel like it is filling the body up right away, but a person will notice a change sooner rather than later.
If it is a matter of preparing a meal that is turning people off, one way to get around that is to have something pre-packaged and ready to go.
For some people, that means going out and buying something that is specifically for eating after the fact. That can be a recovery bar, a grab-and-go meal that requires no preparation, and more.
Is it Better to Eat Something Unhealthy, or Nothing At All?
A lot of doctors will agree that one of the worst things a person can do for a long bike ride is to not eat anything at all. Even if a person drinks a lot of water, they are still missing out on a lot of nutrients they can get so their body feels like it is properly nourished.
There are certainly plenty of food out there that are less than healthy as part of a daily diet, but sometimes people need to make the most of the situation and go with what they have.
That is why there are so many people out there who will end up grabbing something at a fast-food restaurant and hoping for the best.
Is this something that should become a habit? No, but it is not the worst thing in the world. There are some healthier options at fast-food restaurants, and if it has carbohydrates and proteins in it, a person will feel pretty find overall.
What are the Warning Signs that the Body is Not Being Fueled Correctly?
After a ride, a body can fuel a number of different ways. Some people are going to feel completely worn out, and all they want to do is lay down and not move.
Others will still feel like they are pretty energized, and that probably means they did not go on as tough of a ride as they were hoping for.
The biggest warning sign to look out for with a lack of food comes down to cramping, and how a person feels the very next day.
If the body is starting to cramp up, it means that it is low on water and food. Try to up the intake as quickly as possible, and those cramps will start to fade away.
Take note of how the body feels the very next day, as a person will react to certain foods in different ways. If you would correctly, the chances of bouncing back and being perfectly fine the next day to ride longer will increase.
Final Thoughts on the Best Meals After Cycling
Overall, the biggest thing is just remembering to eat in the first place. There are so many people who feel like they do not necessarily have to, as long as they are taking in a lot of water.
Water is obviously very important, but not the only option a person needs to turn to after a ride.
The biggest key is remembering the ratio of three carbohydrates for every one portion of protein. As long as the person is able to eat within an hour of finishing the ride, the body should react positively as well.
Never be afraid to switch things up until it right formula is found, and all of a sudden it becomes that much easier to eat a pretty significant meal after a ride.