Nowadays you can walk into any cycling store and find an array of different nutrition packed foods and supplements. These foods are packed full of much needed nutrients to keep you going on a long ride. However, many are actually made from everyday ingredients you can find at home.
Recently I have started looking into how to make my own homemade sports nutrition to take with me when I go on my longer bike rides. Sure it’s easy to grab a couple of shop brought gels or bars when you are running out of the door. However, making my own sports nutrition products from scratch means I can ultimately save a few dollars and I know exactly what inside of the products I am eating.
Sports Nutrition Foods you can Find at Home
In this article I am going to share with you what I have learned so far with my homemade sports nutrition foods. Hopefully you will also get inspired to jump on the band-wagon and make some too?
A great sports bar alternative that can be easily made at home at low cost are Flapjacks. There are many recipes out there for Flapjacks but I recommend that you have a good carbohydrate source by using jumbo oats and also add honey, dried fruit for an extra carb boost.
If you are like me, you might also want to add in some protein? I suggest adding in scoop of protein powder and/or some nuts into the mix.
Price: Approximately $1 per flapjack
- 100g brown sugar.
- 125g margarine or butter.
- 4 tbsp. golden syrup.
- 40g raisins or sultanas.
- 250g rolled jumbo oats
How to Make
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF. then in a saucepan over a low heat combine your butter, golden syrup and brown sugar.
- Slowly cook while slowly string until the sugar and butter have fully melted. Then stir in the sultans and oats until thoroughly coated.
- Pour your mixture into a 20cm square baking tray (the poured mixture should to be roughly 2-3cm think).
- Please your baking tray into your preheated oven for 30 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Once removed cut your flap jacks into your desired shape and leave to fully cool.
A handful of mixed nuts can be just as effective as a shop bought protein snack bar (often a lot cheaper) and could be a very effective way of maximizing your recovery. Almonds for example are perfect for aiding in muscle recovery due to their high content of the amino acid leucine, which is key for muscle recovery.
You may have noticed that the sport nutrition market has been flooded with specialized foods like jelly beans, and other fancy sugary sweets. Sure these are great to keep you going on a long ride but have you ever thought about eating Dried Fruits instead?
Dried Fruit is naturally high in sugars which are just as effective at delaying fatigue, plus as an extra bonus you will get some much needed vitamins and nutrients while you ride.
No I’m not going made, Sodas like cola can be a great sports drink alternative. What is a sports drink? It’s mainly just salt, sugar, and water. The added caffeine in the cola will also give you an extra boost. In fact, I remember reading that there was research carried out which showed that drinking cola late in exercise actually improved performance when compared to a regular sports drink.
For the best result allow the cola to go completely flat before adding it to your drinking bottle. I also prefer to add some water to make the coal less concentrated.
Homemade Energy Drink Cycling
This is my favorite sports nutrition hack, and it costs next to nothing to make. Simply grab your favorite cheap powdered juice like Tang for example and prepare as normal. Then add half a teaspoon of sea salt to your sports drink bottle and you have a rehydration drink.
Or Try This:
- In A 700ml Water Bottle Add:
- Add 5 tablespoons of maltodextrin powder.
- 1 pinch of salt.
- Squeeze a lime or lemon to taste.
- 700mL water.
Drinking milk is perfect for replacing lost energy and is as effective in helping to rehydrate as a shop bought sports drink. I have found that drinking a large glass of milk immediately after my ride helps me to recover a lot faster. You can also try adding in some cocoa for additional recovering benefits.
Fruit juice is another perfect natural alternative to sports drinks, plus you might get some additional vitamins along the way. Fruit juice just like sports drinks will help to delay fatigue and will support the immune system during strenuous exercise.
To make your own sports drink using fruit juice simply fill your water bottle with half water and half fruit juice, then adding a pinch of salt.