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Summer Nutrition Tips

With events and group rides picking up as vaccination rates increase, races and long rides are sure to follow. Not only is it important to stay safe in the sun, and Beat the Heat, nutrition and hydration also play an important part in making your bike experience the best it can be this summer.

One of the big things many long distance riders, and endurance athletes in general, focus on is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are defined as "any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water (2:1) and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body." Or in easier terms, carbohydrates are simple sugars that are easy for your body to digest and use. And contrary to popular belief, they are good for you!

Carbs are things like glucose, fructose, sucrose, anything ending in -ose (not just breads, pastas, and potatoes). Taking in a variety of carbohydrates generally yields the best results for your body to be able to absorb and use them. One of our favorites is GU ROCTANE Energy Drink Mix, which packs enough electrolytes and carbohydrates to replace calories from solids or gels.  Each 250-calorie serving (in 16 oz of water) contains two types of carbohydrates (maltodextrin and fructose) that use non-competing pathways to help maximize absorption and utilization while diminishing stomach distress. 

You can find GU ROCTANE Energy Drink Mix at both our stores, as well as other GU gels and nutrition.

Another important factor mentioned above is electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals—like sodium, calcium, and potassium—that are vital to many key functions in the body. They're often talked about in association with dehydration, as we sweat out sodium and deplete our electrolytes with exercise. Many nutrition items we have in our stores contain not only a healthy balance of carbohydrates, but also electrolytes. Some of our favorites are Nuun, Skratch, and SIS. 

We also have plenty of solid food options, like gummies and bars, if gels and drink mixes aren't up your alley. Some of our favorites are bars from Skratch, PRO, and GU or Honey Stinger stroop waffles are always a good choice! All have a good balance of sugars, fibers, and vary from 120-290 calories per serving. 

There are also plenty of foods you can easily prepare at home for pre and post workout. Bananas, dried fruits, oatmeal with fruit, avocados, pretzels and hummus, etc. Things that are high in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and are easy to digest. However avoid ingesting too much protein, fiber, or fat beforehand that may sit in your stomach and cause GI distress or slow absorption of nutrients. Never underestimate the power of a good PB&J! 

Of course, it's important to remember that every body, literal body, is different. We could all eat the same foods, do the same workouts, and still have different bodies. What works for someone else, may not work for you. We have a variety of different drink mixes, gels, bars, etc. so that you can find something that works perfect for you. 

St. Paul: 651-644-2354

Arden Hills: 651-490-7709

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