Whether you’re planning a long season of sportives and need to be ready for the following week of training, or just want to make it into the office on Monday morning, post event nutrition is the answer.
Keep it simple
The fewer ingredients, the less time (and money) it takes to cook. But there’s another reason to stay simple. Exotic ingredients not only take time to source and prepare, but they can sit poorly on an athlete’s stomach. Simple, clean foods digest best.
Keep it natural
Your diet will be healthier if it’s built around whole foods rather than processed ones. Convenience meals are often full of sugar, salt and chemicals that enhance taste, colour or shelf life. Read the labels on tins and packets to discover just how much of that stuff is in most – it’ll soon put you off!
No one wants to cook after a ride. But you can make most of the best postride foods in advance and either eat them cold or quickly warm them. Boil or roast beets and sweet potatoes ahead of time, then reheat them. Mix salads and bag them, with dressings to be added later. Even proteins like salmon and chicken can keep well in the fridge for about two days. One evening of cooking can yield meals for a weekend of hard rides.
Keep it tasty
Post-ride meals need to be super healthy, but never boring. Steam rice in coconut water, or chicken/vegetable broth for added tang. Grate Parmesan cheese onto salads, or drizzle over Balsamic vinegar to add a flash of flavour. Grinding black pepper; sprinkling spring onion slices or chopped coriander; adding a dash of olive oil; or squeezing half a lime over your meal are all healthy ways of boosting the yum factor. Ideally your post-ride plate should include salad, starches like beets or rice, and lean protein like tofu or skinless chicken.
Don’t forget to rehydrate…
For a few hours after your ride, make sure you’re sipping water, especially if you felt like you didn’t drink enough during your ride. Again, you don’t need to chug a gallon right when you finish riding, but a steady stream of water will rehydrate your system and keep it from drying up, or backing up.