I'm Back in the Saddle Again!

 Cycling on the island of Maui

Cycling on the island of Maui

May is National Bike Month, and as it's my go to exercise, I thought I'd share my nutrition routine surrounding this activity.  

My first bike was a single-speed royal blue Colombia, I rode it everywhere. Then during the BMX craze I bought a Target knock-off of a much more expensive brand, Red Line I think. One too many catapults over the handlebars and I was thru with BMX. Next came my tank, a Schwinn Continental. I rode this quite a bit until I got my driver's license, then it soon became a rummage sale item. I didn't get back into cycling until college. Energized by my roommate's bike and a fellow student who was a racer, I bought my first real bike, a Cannondale 400. Years later, while doing marketing for a bike shop, I bartered for a top-of-the-line Trek2300 which I rode for about 20 years. My current bike is a Cannondale Super Six. OK, enough of that talk, onto nutrition.

If I'm riding at 6am, I pretty much get up and go, but lately I have come to enjoy a small blender juice of raw beets, blueberries and some cranberry juice.  A friend claims that this combo helpsincrease the oxygen in your blood stream and also full of anti-oxidants. I have to say, I do feel stronger riding after I drink this concoction.

G's Beet Juice
One beet, peeled and chopped
1 cup blueberries
water, apple juice, cranberry juice or POM juice
(amount depends on your preferred consistency, start with 1/2 cup and add)
Place all ingredients in a very powerful blender and blend for at least a minute, until smooth. Drink right away or store in a tight-sealing container in the refrigerator.

The evening meal before a ride for me needs to be a healthy balance of protein and carbs. Pasta with chicken breast and broccoli seems to do the trick. If I do this, I'm assured of a more enjoyable ride.  During my rides, usually between 25-40 miles, I use an electrolyte tablet dissolved in water. It's called NUUN, and I like it because it's sugar-free and easy to drink, plus you can take a couple tabs along on your ride if you need a bottle refill.

Post-ride re-hydration and nourishment starts with an Americano from the local outpost of a certain Washington coffee company. If necessary, I'll add a breakfast sandwich to the mix. Once home, it's more food as a typical ride will burn 1200-1800 calories! When we ride later in the day, post-ride hydration can take on a whole new direction. Not saying this is the best, but an ice cold beer after a hard ride is pretty darn tasty!

Bottom line, cycling is great exercise. You see so many things that you don't experience with other forms of exercise. Please leave the ear buds, music and cell phone out of reach. If you're not sure where to ride, call or stop in to your local bike shop or jump online to Strava.com.
There's a whole world out there, go live fit and have fun!