In his preparation for the Straumann Charity Bike Ride, Ross Cutts offers some nutritional tips

It was participating in the very first Straumann Charity Bike Ride (which I loved by the way) that inspired me to look more closely at my diet. For me, fitness and diet go hand in hand and I work hard at keeping myself fit, spending four mornings a week in the gym before work and training and cycling long distances with family and friends at weekends.

Since that first ride, and thanks to my friend, technician and fellow rider Andy Morton who introduced me to it, I have chosen to keep to a diet referred to as the Cave Man or Paleo diet, which is effectively sugar-free, minimal to zero carbs, quite high fat and very high protein – in other words no wheats, no grains and no pasta!

Feel the burn

For long distance or endurance bike rides you need stamina. For sprinters and short-duration rides a diet with more emphasis on carbs can work, but for distance riders I believe in the high fat, high protein, low carb, low sugar approach, known as the Ketogenic diet. The idea is that the body uses fat as a fuel source, burning the fat that we have stored in our bodies to avoid the carb crash!

Many people rely on sweets and energy gels on long rides. Indeed on that first ride I carried with me a large bag of Haribos for the big climbs, and I’d regularly find fellow riders rummaging in my bag looking to share them. Energy gels, Haribos and Jelly Babies are all a great quick fix if you need more energy, but within 20 minutes you’ll find you have an energy deficit – a sugar crash which you need to try and avoid.

In terms of liquids I use the complex sports drink, Generation UCAN. Powered by SuperStarch, it’s rich in electrolytes, gluten-free and contains no added sugars, giving you long-lasting energy and helping you to burn fat for fuel by keeping blood sugar stable and insulin low. Otherwise it’s simply water and salt tablets.

My final tip in terms of fitness for the ride, one of the best things to do is to trim off a few pounds a couple of months beforehand to improve and increase your power to weight ratio.

If you would like to make a donation visit the Straumann Charity Bike Ride JustGiving Page

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