What you eat before a ride play's a big factor in
how you feel when riding.
Eat too much and you feel full, bloated and a little sick.
Too little and you quickly bonk and lose focus and concentration.
So the key first of all is to find what
works for you personally. Some people
have faster digestions...some work better
off high carb and others on lower carbs.
When you eat...and in what quantity...will vary person to
There are however, simple guidelines you can stick to
to give you a good idea of what to eat before you ride
The length of your ride will dictate what you should eat.
Anything less than 2 hours and you'll be fine
having a high carb, low protein/low fat meal.
Something like a bowl of muesli with almond milk
60-120 minutes before you ride
(notice this still contains some fat and protein in the milk)
Longer than 2 hours, and particularly for your 3,4+ hour rides
and you want to look at having something more substantial
to keep you going for longer.
A mix of protein, fats and carbs works better here.
A great example - 2 slices of toast with butter, 2x poached eggs
and 1/2 an avocado, with a coupe rashers of bacon.
Here you are getting a good amount of protein, good fats
and carbs which will digest slowly over the next couple of
hours and keep you feeling full, focused and having plenty
of energy much further into the ride.
Again - you want this 60-90 mins before you ride.
Carb portion wise, aim for 0.5g-1.0g of carbs per hour, per 1kg bodyweight.
(so at 80kg I would have 40g-80g of CHO in my pre-ride meal)
This can go up or down depending on how hard the ride will be,
how far you will ride and your goals (less for weightloss generally)
Pre-ride nutrition doesn't have to be difficult. You just need to think
how far you are riding, how long for and what your exertion levels
With nutrition the key is to PRACTICE.
See what works best for you.
For me, I'd rather eat too much and feel a bit stuffed for
the first 20 minutes than eat too little and be flagging from
the get go.
Hope that helps