This is what cycling is all about, and good nutrition will benefit you in more ways then not. You will need a good carbohydrate base to maximize your muscle glycogen reserves. And you need to avoid eating in the 4 hour pre-event interval to keep your stomach empty or you risk the GI distress that goes with exercising close to or above 100% VO2 max. You will also sweat more so fluid replacement needs to be monitored. If this is a ride of less than 1 1/2 to 2 hours, you do not need to carbo supplement during the ride.
- 4 days prior - balanced diet with 60-70% Calories from carbohydrates; 600 grams of carbohydrate per day in the three days prior to the event
- 4 hours prior - don't eat in the 4 hours before this ride
- 4 minutes priorr - a candy bar, energy bar, or other carbohydrate snack is a good idea
- During the ride - even for an event of 1 1/2 hours or less, a liquid carbohydrate supplement should be used. And if it's going to be longer, you will definitely need carbohydrate supplements (beginning regular snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks as soon as the event starts to replace the estimated Calories burned per hour
- Post ride - a post ride carbohydrate snack, particularly in the 10 to 15 minutes immediately afterwards, will take advantage of the window for maximum glycogen resynthesis and may cut down on muscle soreness. Eat a high carbohydrate meal that night to replace the muscle glycogen that was probably completely depleted during the event.
- Fluids - one water bottle per hour as an absolute minimum