Carb Loading – Eating for Glory

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

In the first of a ‘How To Endure Long Rides’ series, Sasha Maguire outlines the basics to ensure you maximise your potential on the big day.

Carb Loading

vlo en pates

Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy to the body and they are vital to pre-event preparations. ‘Carbo-loading’ became a very popular term in the 90s and has some merit to it, but basically it involves the storage of glycogen (broken down starchy carbohydrates) in the liver and muscles. It is important to be fully stocked up on glycogen a few days leading up to a challenge like the Wicklow 200. It allows for more energy to be used throughout the day and will significantly impact on your overall performance. Foods such as brown rice and pasta, quinoa and potatoes are great to have for dinner, lunch within the few days leading up to the event.


Rennrad Wiggensbach


It is equally important to constantly eat throughout the day whilst on the bike. Every rider at one point or another has experienced ‘bonking’, which is the feeling of hitting a wall, the pedals slow right down, everything hurts and you’re starving. It is a horrible feeling, but one that can easily be stopped if you plan your food correctly for the bike. Cycling burns a huge amount of calories, this is a great form of losing weight although during an event you need be replenishing those stocks. Bear in mind how long it might take you to complete the event and plan your food accordingly. Every rider will have their go-to snacks and it is always good to know what works for you. Some cyclists prefer gels or bar, where as other prefer more natural products such as bananas, raisins or jellies. Eating enough leading up to and during the challenge is taking care of your muscles and will improve your enjoyment of the day.