How long before a bike ride should I eat?

This question is about Cycling

Elle Penner, MPH, RD

You should eat a full meal 2-4 hours before a bike ride, followed by a small carbohydrate-rich snack 15-30 minutes before starting. Pre-ride meals should contain at least 55-65% calories from carbohydrate along with some lean protein and healthy fat [


]. Snacks should include easily digestible carbohydrates that are low in fiber, protein and fat. Some good snack options include a banana, 8-ounces of a sports drink, or an energy gel.

clock with fruit and vegetables in the background


  1. Mata, F., Valenzuela, P. L., Gimenez, J., Tur, C., Ferreria, D., Domínguez, R., Sanchez-Oliver, A. J., & Martínez Sanz, J. M. (2019). Carbohydrate Availability and Physical Performance: Physiological Overview and Practical Recommendations. Nutrients, 11(5), 1084.