Many cyclists turn to sports drinks for energy before, during and after exercise. While these beverages may supply electrolytes and carbohydrates, they’re often highly processed and don’t contain many nutrients.
Coconut Water is recommended and is easily available in most places along the route. You can fill your sipper bottle with this and keep sipping along the ride.
Natural coconut water contains five key electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Coconut water while good for hydration, cannot provide you with enough sodium, especially on long rides. In this scenario, an occasional sports drink is recommended.
Natural Fruit juices can deliver nutrients that are easy to absorb while helping to keep your sugar levels balanced. Juice can also help with hydration. Adding water to your juice can help your stomach empty and re-hydrate you more quickly.
Milk drinks have long been favoured by randonneurs during and after the ride. It contains a healthy balance of hydration, carbohydrates and protein. Don't have anything dairy-related if you have a weak gut.
Fluid and energy intake during Audax riding is essential for controlling body temperature and sustaining endurance. Carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals need to be consumed. Insufficient caloric intake can lead to fatigue, weight loss, and impaired physical performance.
Your caloric intake should comprise:
60 to 65 percent from carbohydrates
10 to 15 percent from protein
25 percent from fat
Typically, the body can absorb around 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour.
Over time you will discover what “works” for you – and what doesn’t.
Audax riders typically rely on food that is readily available at checkpoints. In small country towns that means bakeries and cafes during the day and if riding into the evenings, rice and idlis are go-to foods. Some riders carry sports nutrition such as gels, bars, chews and electrolytes, others more ordinary food, like peanut butter/jam sandwiches or cereal bars. It is a personal preference for whatever carbohydrate-rich food you find easiest to eat.
Carbohydrates that break down easily include: rice, porridge, pasta, idlis, semige, sanna.
Proteins that are easily absorbed include: eggs, chicken, fish and curds.
Healthy fats include: dark chocolate (70% min), nuts, full-fat dairy products. your fat intake should come from fresh and natural foods, and not the refined, processed ones.