Cycling is one of the most chosen types of exercise as routine physical activity. One important factor in cycling is the fulfillment of body nutrition, both before cycling and afterwards. Not many people are aware that fulfilling nutrition after cycling plays an important role in the body's recovery and rehydration process, so most people choose any food without thinking about the nutritional content and effects on the body after cycling.
Why is it important to choose the right food after cycling?
Eating the right foods after cycling will not only restore the deposits of energy sources in the body, but also help in the recovery and formation of muscles and post-exercise rehydration. When cycling, the body will burn glycogen as an energy source. Glycogen is a carbohydrate store in the liver and muscles that needs to be returned after being used during the process of cycling through food. Foods that contain carbohydrates will help the process of storing glycogen in the body, while foods containing protein will help repair and build muscle. As for the post-cycling rehydration process, foods that are rich in minerals are needed to avoid dehydration and maintain the balance of electrolyte substances in the body.
What foods are best consumed after cycling?
Here are some of the right foods to consume after exercising:
1. Baked potatoes and boiled eggs
Baked potatoes and boiled eggs are a good combination to eat after cycling, considering the carbohydrate content in potatoes and the protein found in eggs. The carbohydrate content in potatoes is important in the process of 'filling' glycogen reserves in the body 30 to 60 minutes after cycling. Not only that, the content of potassium in potatoes helps restore the electrolyte balance in the body that comes out through sweat when cycling. Potatoes are also high glycemic index carbohydrates that help increase insulin levels in the body, which play a role in returning carbohydrates to the muscles and stopping the breakdown of muscle proteins in the bloodstream.
Meanwhile, eggs contain amino acids that are easily digested by humans, so the choice of eating eggs after cycling can help provide the protein needed by the body. Both of these foods can provide the right nutrition to help the body's recovery process after cycling.
2. White rice and grilled chicken
Many people think that eating white rice after exercise is not the right choice, but it turns out that white rice consumption after cycling is actually recommended. Simple carbohydrates contained in white rice are much easier to break down by the body than complex carbohydrates, so the blood sugar level in the body increases faster. Not only that, white rice also turns out to contain amino acids that play a role in muscle formation. To increase nutrient intake, white rice can be cooked with chicken broth or coconut milk.
White rice also contains a high glycemic index such as potatoes. Meanwhile, chicken meat, especially the chest, is a high source of protein. The combination of these two foods will provide protein and carbohydrates for body recovery after cycling.
Nuts can be chosen as snacks after cycling because of the high protein content in them. The content of unsaturated fatty acids in peanuts is also useful in helping to minimize bad cholesterol in the body. There are several choices of nuts that can be consumed after cycling, including almonds which are rich in calcium which help strengthen bones, magnesium and potassium, and help maintain muscle and nerve function. Cashew nuts are rich in iron content and have the lowest fat content compared to other nuts. Not only eaten raw, nuts can also be combined with dried fruits or made jam.
4. Chocolate milk
Research shows that chocolate milk is one of the best drinks for athletes to consume after exercising, including cycling. In one glass of low-fat chocolate milk, it contains a 4: 1 carbohydrate and protein ratio, as recommended by experts. Sugar contained in chocolate milk is also included in the group of simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down in the digestive system. In addition, milk also has high calcium and vitamin D content, and enough water content to rehydrate the body after cycling.
Smoothies are drinks that are not only delicious, but also healthy and contain enough nutrients for post-exercise recovery. In making smoothies, it is recommended to use fresh fruits, honey, coconut water or low-fat milk, and additional protein such as nuts or whey protein powder. Fresh fruits and honey will provide carbohydrates as an energy supply after cycling, while coconut water contains electrolytes which are beneficial in balancing ionic levels in the body. The recommended fruit is a fruit belonging to the berry class because it contains almost 92% of water which helps in the process of rehydrating the body, and contains anthocyanin pigments which reduce inflammation and joint pain.
6. Water with lemon juice
If you are riding low /light intensity, or are in the process of losing weight, eating heavy foods is not always recommended. A glass of mineral water with additional lemon juice can be consumed after finishing cycling to hydrate the body.
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