The Best Foods to Fuel Your Spinning ClassesMaddy Slade | 7 May 2021
Food and Exercise
Here at Apex, we want you to get the most out of your rides with us. It’s important to ensure you’re adequately fueling up your body both before and after your workout - this will help you deliver on your workouts and also facilitate the growth and repair of those muscles you’re working on the bike. Nutrition and exercise don’t have to be complicated, but it is important that you also find what works for you. Everyone’s different so this might take a bit of trial and error. Once you know how your body best responds to food and exercise you can fuel it accordingly and reap those rewards.
Generally speaking, if you’re working out first thing in the morning you should be good to go without eating a meal before. If you do prefer to have something in your stomach before you hit the bike, we suggest a piece of fruit such as a banana or some dried fruit with a handful of nuts. You don’t want to eat anything too difficult to digest; this could make you feel sluggish or nauseous during your session - keep it light. If you’re planning something more intense or weight-bearing, perhaps try loading up on healthy carbs the night before so you can smash your workout.
If you’re working out later in the day there’s a bit more room to tailor your meal around your session. Carbs are the best source for quick-burning fuel; they are your body’s preferred source of energy. Complex carbs such as oats and quinoa are great pre-workout meals; they keep you full and release energy slowly as opposed to spiking your blood sugar only to leave you crashing shortly after. We recommend leaving around 2 hours between eating breakfast and working out to ensure your food has been digested.
Another crucial thing to bear in mind is protein. Lean protein ensures sustained energy levels without leaving you feeling heavy. Protein also assists with muscle growth and repair, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re getting enough of it. Have you ever had that feeling halfway through a workout when you feel like you're running on empty? This is probably because either your carbohydrate or protein stores were empty before you began. Working out in a fasted state can be great for some, but not eating enough can negatively impact your workout and more importantly your overall health - no one can run on an empty tank.
Fueling up post-workout
Eating the right food after your ride is just as important as what you load up on before. As you spin it out on the bike, your body uses up its glycogen stores as energy. We need to help our bodies replenish these by eating the correct foods; this will facilitate muscle growth and repair.
If you can, try to eat within an hour or so after working out - this is when your body is most efficient at synthesising protein. When we exercise we trigger the breakdown of proteins within the body - so it makes sense that we need to replace that through our diet. An easy to digest protein is ideal in helping your body recover from your workout. There are numerous healthy shakes on the market if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get your protein fix. We love Form Nutrition and Innermost.
As well as protein, complex carbs are also key to ensure you’re adequately refueling those burnt off energy stores. Sweet potatoes replenish lost energy and also contain copper which helps maintain healthy muscle tissue. Bananas are also a great quick fix because they are rich in potassium and magnesium which will be depleted post spin sesh and need to be replenished.
Food is fuel - it’s also delicious and there to be enjoyed - but when we fuel our bodies correctly we get the most out of our workouts and can keep pushing from strength to strength. You need to find what works for you, being mindful about what and when you’re eating, and how it’s affecting your performance can help you get the most from your time and your Apex bike.