What should you not eat while cycling?

This question is about Nutrition and Cycling

Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Foods you should not eat while cycling include foods high in fiber, fat, protein, and caffeine, as well as foods that require significant chewing or might cause you to choke. 

  • High-fiber foods (like beans, broccoli, artichokes, raspberries, apples, and pears) move quickly through your GI tract and can also cause cramping, bloating, and gas while you ride. 

  • Protein and fat take more time and energy to digest, which can leave you feeling sluggish and crampy on the bike if you eat too much just before cycling. For this reason, it’s best to steer clear of foods like cheese, meat, poultry, fish, fried foods, and ice cream before a ride. 

  • While some caffeine can be beneficial for cycling performance, consuming too much from foods like coffee, tea, espresso beans, and energy drinks can lead to jitters, stomach upset, heartburn, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. 

  • Foods that require significant chewing (like carrots, pretzels, and celery) or are choking hazards (like grapes, cherry tomatoes, and some candies) should also be avoided while cycling. 

Coffee cup with coffee beans around it