What do cyclists eat on long rides?

This question is about Cycling

Sarah Achleithner

Cyclists should consume foods with carbohydrates and sports drinks on long rides, as these foods provide quick, usable energy to fuel high intensity workouts [


]. On rides of longer duration and/or higher intensity, cyclists may also include protein to minimize muscle damage [



Foods should be small, portable and easy to digest during long rides, such as fruits, pouches, liquid nutrition, oatmeal bites, energy bars, sports gels, and homemade rice bars. For optimal performance, cyclists should consume 30-90 g of carbs/hour of aerobic exercise, which equates to 120-360 kcal/hr [


]. Daily calories needs for cyclists can vary from

2,000-7,000 kcal/day

(or more), depending on body weight, age, sex, and training load. 

oatmeal energy bites


  1. Learsi, S. K., Ghiarone, T., Silva-Cavalcante, M. D., Andrade-Souza, V. A., Ataide-Silva, T., Bertuzzi, R., de Araujo, G. G., McConell, G., & Lima-Silva, A. E. (2019). Cycling time trial performance is improved by carbohydrate ingestion during exercise regardless of a fed or fasted state. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 29(5), 651–662.



  2. Jeukendrup, A. (2014, May 3). A step towards personalized sports nutrition: Carbohydrate intake during exercise. Sports Medicine.