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The Long, Hungry Road: How to Build Up Your Reserves for a Long Cycling Ride

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- You might expect a long ride on a bicycle to make you more exhausted and sorer than you've ever been. But what about hungrier? How do cyclists prepare to last through a long-distance ride like Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride Across America?

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) Soldier Ride Across America

If you plan on cycling for more than two hours straight, you'll want to plan on fueling and refueling.

"Eat complex carbohydrates about two hours before you start cycling," said Sierra James, WWP staff member. Examples of complex carbs include whole grain bread, pasta, rice, and oatmeal.

"Complex carbs are digested slower than simple carbs and give us more energy," Sierra explained. The caveat is to avoid added sugars – they only give you a burst of energy, but they don't help with long-term endurance.

"The best way to fuel up is by eating high-quality protein from solid foods," Sierra said. These foods include chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and soy products. Solid foods are better than liquid protein, which can be used when convenience is the most important factor. 

"Ideally, we manage to combine the protein with complex carbs and healthy fats – for sustained energy and recovery after long exercise," Sierra said.  

Here are two examples of healthy breakfasts before you get on the road:

  • Breakfast burrito on whole wheat or corn tortilla with egg, diced sweet potatoes, spinach, salsa, avocado slices (healthy fats). For hydration, add fruit on the side.
  • If you have less time, eat oatmeal, peanut butter, fruit, or dried fruit.

"If you don't have time for a full breakfast, you could eat a good meal with complex carbs the night before," Sierra said. "Just try to avoid skipping breakfast."

"For recovery, we want high-quality protein within two hours after we exercise," Sierra said. "We should try to combine protein with complex carbohydrates to enhance muscle repair and help with muscle growth."

For more on Soldier Ride Across America, visit The riders will be arriving in San Diego on Sunday, Oct. 7, wrapping up their cross-country journey.

About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more:

Wounded Warrior Project is recognizing 15 years of impactful programs and services. Independence Program helps seriously injured warriors live more meaningful lives. Learn more at (PRNewsfoto/Wounded Warrior Project)

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project

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