Homemade Snack Recipes | Recipes to Fuel Long Rides – Bicycling

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Sick of gels or gummies? These homemade snacks pack nutrition, energy, and flavor into every bite.
You might chomp on gummies or slurp back gels midride, all to keep your energy up and your muscles fueled for miles. And while those conveniently packed options, loaded with

carbs, might get you through your workout, you can also easily whip up some homemade snacks—made of just a few whole foods. All it takes is a little prep work and some delicious recipes (we’ve got you covered on that front).
Making your own midride snacks also means you can dial in your specific needs and desires when it comes to ingredients, palatability, and what works best for you and your body. Keep in mind, it may take some trial and error in figuring out the best fuel for you, but to help guide you toward a snack that powers you for plenty of miles, we got sports dietitians to share what nutrients you need in your homemade snacks to fuel your rides—plus when to fill up on those key ingredients. They also offer their go-to recipes for what to munch on mid-mileage, along with a few top cyclists who also share their favorite concoctions.
“It’s best to start fueling in the first 30 minutes of the ride,” says Kristen Arnold, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., sports dietitian and certified cycling coach. This keeps your fuel stores, like the glycogen in your muscles, from depleting.
Pamela Nisevich Bede M.S., R.D., sports dietitian and author of Sweat. Eat. Repeat, agrees, saying that she tells athletes to fuel early and often on their rides. “I prefer to see athletes consuming incremental fuel across the hour rather than some huge bolus of food that the gut might have difficulty digesting and absorbing,” she explains. That might mean taking small bites of food every half hour, rather than eating handfuls of food every hour.

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The exact amount of fuel you take in per hour (or half hour) depends on several factors: your fueling in the hours leading up to your ride or race, the size of the athlete, and the intensity of the ride (the more intense the workout, the more fuel you’ll burn), Bede says.
When figuring out what and when to eat during your next workout, here’s a quick guide from Kim Schwabenbauer DHSc, R.D., C.S.S.D., sports dietitian and triathlon coach:
To help you determine what to pack in your back pocket for your rides, Arnold offers some suggestions: “Ride snacks for shorter, more intense rides should include mostly carbs from quick-burning sources like honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit. Ride snacks for longer rides can include fat- and protein-rich foods like nuts, seeds, nut butter and protein powder.”
Those carbs work best when easily digestible (meaning without a ton of extra fat or fiber), says Schwabenbauer. This means they’re less likely to cause gastrointestinal upset.
To get to know what your body can handle as you ride, it’s best to practice during training so you’re set for a big race or mega long ride, Schwabenbauer says. “Practice in training so you ‘train your gut’ to absorb the carbohydrates/sodium/fluid prior to race day,” she says. “I often recommend at least three to four practice rides at partial race day intensity to make sure the athlete is well-prepared to handle the intake at a similar intensity to race day.”

Also, while you’re snacking midride, don’t forget to drink some water too. “It’s equally important to also maintain hydration,” says Wesley McWhorter, DrPH, R.D.N., C.S.C.S., assistant professor at The University of Texas Health School of Public Health and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “If it’s an early morning ride, drink a glass prior to the ride and then continue drinking every 10 to 15 minutes during the ride. This will change on hot rides versus colder rides but it’s important to drink before you get thirsty. Also, a good rule of thumb is that you need approximately 8 ounces of water for every 7 to 9 grams of carbohydrates consumed.”
As for what whole foods and snacks to eat midride? Here, the list of recipes from dietitians and cyclists.
Most pros will say to turn to a classic PB&J to take with you on the ride—combining some real peanut butter (that means just peanuts in the ingredient list), fresh fruit preserves, and your favorite bread. But if you’re looking for something new to try, these recipes check the boxes for nutrition and taste.
Contributor: Kristen Arnold, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., sports dietitian and certified cycling coach
Notes: Very lightly wetting your hands prevents the balls from sticking to your hands and makes rolling easier.

Contributor: Pamela Nisevich Bede M.S., R.D., sports dietitian and author of Sweat. Eat. Repeat
Contributor: Kristen Arnold, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., sports dietitian and certified cycling coach
Notes: Refrigerate and eat up to 7 days. Freeze and keep them even longer. Consider leaving in the oven on low heat at 275-degrees for an additional up to 20 minutes to make them dryer. The dryer they are, the better they will hold their shape, but the less comforting moist texture they will have. Experiment to get your ideal texture.
Contributor: Jess Cerra, vice president, product and community development at JoJé Bar
Contributor: Tessa Reder, adventure racer and ultra-endurance athlete
Notes: If you’re going to be in the rain, I suggest using snack-sized Ziploc bags to avoid the disappointment of a soggy snack. These bars are super versatile, and you can tweak them to your taste. Try changing out the almonds for peanuts or dried blueberries, swapping the chia for pumpkin seeds, etc. As long as you have one cup total of “super foods,” then it works out. The entire tray of squares is 3,378 calories total. If you divide it into 16 squares, that’s 211 calories each.
Contributor: Meaghan Praznik, Ironman champion and head of communication for AllTrails
Notes: If it’s super hot out, skip the chocolate chips so they don’t melt.

Contributor: Peter Jolles, expedition adventure racer
Notes: Keeps indefinitely in the freezer or a couple days out in the open. Each half cup serving has about 750 calories, a little salt and a little caffeine.

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