How long after eating a meal should I wait before getting on the bike? Everyone has different levels of comfort regarding eating around exercise, so it is important to trial what works for you. In general, allow 2-4 hours before cycling, following a larger meal to allow for digestion, and 30mins - 2hours for a smaller snack. Consider the Glycaemic Index (GI) of carbohydrates - A food’s GI measures how quickly it is digested and broken down into glucose. Lower GI foods, give a slower release of energy and should be the focus of main meals during training. High GI foods are quickly broken down to glucose and thus available energy. These make great options for quick snacks, before, during, or after training and when carbohydrate loading. In general, main meals should be high in lower GI carbohydrates and moderate in protein and fats. Good meal options include: Chicken and Spinach Pesto Pasta -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/140398-Farfalle-Pasta-with-Chicken-and-Spinach-Pesto Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice ->http://www.vingle.net/posts/319308-Salsa-Verde-Chicken Spicy Trout and brown rice pilaf -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/315141-Spicy-North-African-Style-Trout Should I eat before an early morning ride and if so, what should I opt for? You should eat where possible before your morning ride; especially if it is a longer session (1 hour in duration) or a high-intensity session. The body uses carbohydrate stores (quickly broken down to energy) for high-intensity work, and if cycling having not eaten breakfast you may not be able to maintain the quality of exercise. Due to the body's position on the bike, riders generally find it easier to tolerate food closer to cycling, though you should try a few strategies and see what works best for you. Here are two morning situations to plan for: The early riser - if you wake up 2 hours before your cycle, good options include: Overnight Oats -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/353265-Week-3-Monday-Friday-Rest-Day-Recipes-Overnight-Oats Pineapple, Kale, Blueberry smoothie -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/174052-Weight-Loss-Smoothie-2-Pineapple-Kale-Blueberry-Smoothie Vanilla Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/252757-Vanilla-Blueberry-Buckwheat-Pancakes Avocado Scrambled Eggs -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/170881-avocado-scrambled-eggs-onion-and-cheddar-cheese Straight out of bed - if you prefer to get straight out on the bike, the following, quickly-digested, options are good options for you: Breakfast smoothie -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/349668-Week-1-Monday-Friday-Rest-Day-Recipes-Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Smoothie Breakfast bar -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/348423-Vegan-Banana-Strawberry-Oatmeal-Bites Breakfast muffins -> http://www.vingle.net/posts/2369-Banana-Blueberry-Crumb-Muffins-recipe-%E2%80%93-174-calories If you can’t tolerate any food before your ride, or prefer not to eat, try increasing the carbohydrate portion of your evening meal the night before, as this will be stored in the muscles (as glycogen) ready for your morning session. What should I definitely avoid eating before a ride? To provide sufficient fuel, foods should be predominantly high in carbohydrate. Riders should also use foods they are used to, make them feel comfortable, and don’t cause any gastrointestinal symptoms. In the 2-4 hours before, riders should try to limit the following, as these are well known causes gastrointestinal distress (diarrhoea, bowel upsets): Excess fibre, excess fatty foods, unusually spicy foods, excess caffeine intakes, and more obviously, alcohol! In the hour before a ride, snacks should focus on smaller easily absorbed, high GI snacks and reduce the amount of fibre consumed.