Eat to Keep the Legs Turning

Whilst I don’t take my cycling too seriously, my personal trainer convinced me that I should give “proper” nutrition a go, particularly as I’m preparing for the 170km Western Tiers Cycle Challenge.

After trying a number of different energy bars as well as various sandwiches, I settled on Clif Bar, which I stumbled across at our local fruit and vegetable shop of all places, retailing for $2.20, which is 60% cheaper than the last type that I bought. It comes in half a dozen different flavours and the three that I have tried so far have been very tasty and easy to digest. Another thing that I like about this product is that unlike some others on the market, each flavour contains almost exactly the same amount of carbohydrate (app. 40g). Another feature is that each flavour also contains 10g of protein, which I understand is good for muscle recovery, even during a ride.

I consume one bar every hour, which provides me with 80g of carbohydrates per hour when combined with one 710ml bottle of Gu Brew, which contains 40g of carbohydrates as well as providing fluid and electrolyte replacement.

There seem to be at least two common “rules” regarding the amount of carbs you need on a ride; 30-60g/hour for recreational riding and 1g/kg of bodyweight for faster cycling. The nutrition regime outlined above meets the latter standard for me, so I’ll need to keep an eye on it as I’m hardly spinning the pedals like a pro! If I find that I’m overdoing it on the carbs, I’ll aim to replace the Gu Brew in my water bottle with a carb free product, and eat an extra half a Clif Bar each hour instead.

I’d be interested in your feedback and nutrition tips.


[Editor: have not spotted them in supermarkets down south yet, but bike shops have them, although for much more than $2.20. And yep, they taste good!]

Daryl Connelly is a Bicycle Tasmania member living in Forth, on the north - west coast. When he’s not cycling, beekeeping or chasing the kids, he’s a business advisor with Cradle Coast Innovation. Daryl would love to hear from other members via [email protected] on email or @darylconnelly on Twitter. You can also follow him on Strava.


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