We've all experienced the awful feeling of "bonking". That moment when you're body hits a wall. Where your mind is trying to push yourself to carry out a task, but your muscles and body just won't react. You may get a little light headed, shaking, distracted, irritable. It is every endurance athletes worst nightmare and it can be easily avoided with a little preparation and focus. There are a lot of options to address this. In fact there is an entire industry - gels, gummies, tablets - focused on providing athletes of all stripes with the energy they need to fuel themselves through those long two, three, four and five hour rides or runs.
I've traditionally relied on gels and gummies. They've treated me well. That being said they have their downsides. They are expensive ranging from $2.00-$4.00 a piece. They can be a pain to use on the bike in particular and while I've got over the mental road block personally, they don't taste like food at all, but rather some gelatinous, artificially flavoured PlayDoh more akin to a gummy used to trick children into getting the required vitamins they need.
So I've started a new search. Over the next little while I'm embarking on the task of finding some on-the-bike nutrition that is effective, easy to make, could be classified as real food and might actually taste good. Obviously, I'm looking for something to give me the salt, carbs and protein mix needed to get me through those longer rides and runs.
The plan is this - each week I will find, make and test out some recipes and ideas that I've been wanting to try out but have just been too lazy to actually try.
Apple-Cinnamon Rice Cakes
Full recipe and more can be found in: Feed Zone Portables: A Cookbook of On-The-Go Food for Athletes by Biju Thomas & Allen Lim.
These delicious little treats were incredible easy to make. Simple ingredients - rice, apple and some spices. I can see they will be easy to customize to whatever your taste profile and are full of all those good carbs and energy needed to fuel the long rides. Most importantly, inexpensive.
In 20 minutes I had 8 individually wrapped snacks in the fridge ready to go. I think I made them a little too big for the first try, but trial and error will soon tell the tale. A first taste keeps me hopefully optimistic that these will work out just great.
I'm a little interested to see how they are to eat on the bike, as the rice was a tad sticky when making them.
My plan is to report back next week and let you all know. I'll also introduce another food idea.
Happy training everyone!!!