Best food to eat for/on a long muni/distance ride?

I usually go for my Wednesday muni ride in the morning. Beforehand I have a couple of slabs of Weetabix for breakfast with a dusting of brown sugar on the top, and that’s it.

You have to understand that at the moment I pay absolutely no attention to the food I eat, mainly because I am one of those slim lucky people who can seem to eat fast food and chips for a week without putting on weight.

Anyway about a month ago I was “prisoned” in the house thanks to the landlord’s builders who insisted they replaced my water heater in the mid-morning, so I had a ride in the afternoon that time.

Since the work unexpectedly overran I resorted to eating a microwaved curry for lunch. I did the ride at about 3:30pm, and found it more tiring. I spent months learning to climb a long hill and succeeded it usually, but that afternoon it was exhausting, like I never attempted it at all.

To me, this was a wake up call to start eating foods suitable for sustained exercise. But I know absolutely nothing about what ingredients give an energy boost, short or long term.

So what are the best things to eat before, and during a long ride? I’m doing muni at the moment but intend to do distance rides in the future.

While you’re riding, something stodgy and sugary - malt loaf is good, or dried fruit. And bananas. Make sure you don’t run out of water.


One of the main things that improved my riding endurance was learning the Power of Pasta. Consumed in sufficiently vast quantities an hour or so before riding, it’s ace.

Failing that just find snacks with lots of sugar. Bananas are supposed to be good, but have a tendancy to get mashed in a camelback - get a banana guard, or wait for chris dobie to sing the praises of dried bananas.

Flapjack is nice, and easy to make so cheap.

Finally, soreen is the king of riding food. It’s nice, lots of calories, slow and quick release, and it can get squashed into any shape and remain the exact same consistency.


I kno its not Muni but i can be just as tiring. I take trail mix when i do a lengthy trials session. Its a home made mix: Peanuts, raisins, cashews, chocolate chips, and some dried apricots. Its really yummy and it keeps ya going.


As a former long distance bicyclist, the big thing is high carbs for sustained energy, eaten anywhere from a couple of hours before to the night before. When I would do a century ride (100 miler) I’d eat a huge spaghetti dinner the night before and then some flapjacks for breakfast. For sustained energy so that I could stay in the saddle for 5 or 6 hours I’d take a banana (as mentioned before, easily smashed :angry: ) and some energy bars. Also, peanut butter sandwiches are great road food.

I usually eat something light like a bowl of oatmeal and fruit for breakfast before I ride. If it’s too heavy, not only might it upset your stomach, but your digestive system will consume more oxygen making it difficult to ride as hard.

Like others mentioned, if you’re planning a really long ride, eat a bunch carbs the night before–I like whole grain pasta.

During the ride, fruit or energy bars are good. For longer rides (> 3 hours) probably eat something more substantial during the ride–maybe a chicken sandwhich or PB&J, just nothing too dry.

Get youself some Clif bars. Not only do they make some that taste too good to be called an energy bar, they are also designed to provide a more level release of energy over time vs. sugar based energy bars. Those type tend to spike quickly and then drop off almost as quick. This gives you a quick boost and then you burn off the calories very quickly. Sugar energy also tends to cause more muscle cramping on long rides. On my epic mountain bike rides I also filled up my hydrapak with Endurox. It’s an energy drink designed to help rebalance your electolyte level. That’s very important when you’re sweating it out in the hot Texas sun.

For the post ride (within 30 minutes if possible) get some fresh smoothies in you to replentish the glucose supplies in your large muscle mass. The body is most receptive to absorbing what you need within that 30 minute window and you’ll fare much better for it on the next day.

The most important thing is don’t radically change your diet on the day of your ride. If you’re doing something that your body is not used to it could riot and cause you great discomfort at a most inappropriate time. I saw that happen a lot on race days. Guys would suddenly eat something totally foreign to them for “fuel” and would end up on the side of the trail hurling (if they were lucky) after exerting themselves for a short while.

Try some new stuff out in a training mode. Note how you feel before you eat and before the ride. Try to nail down some specific things about how the food change impacted your ride. Before the next ride try something different and note the same areas. Everyone is different. You may find that the Lima Bean is your secret weapon. Tell us how it goes.

For a mid-ride snack… coconut.

Try shredded coconut or cut-up pieces of coconut instead of trail mix.

Coconut contains a lot of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This is a ready-to-burn type of saturated fat. Your body will use it as a preferential fuel source. It doesn’t require much digestion. In fact, people with liver disease who have trouble digesting fats are given MCT oil. It’s also given to premature babies. The fat will circulate in your bloodstream until it is burned. It won’t get stored as fat.

I have good results with coconut on MUni rides. YMMV and please check my facts. I believe everything is correct, but I’m not a doctor.

…with a good helping of pasta the night before and a good supply of these during the ride you could keep cycling forever.


Please read the ingredients, whether it’s power bars or Jelly Babies. Choose something simple, natural, and wholesome. I don’t want any hydrolyzed [genetically modified] soy protein isolate. Or MSG. Or artificial flavors made in a laboratory on the New Jersey Turnpike.

If you can’t grow it or make it in your own kitchen, it’s probably not good. It’s probably not food. (I ask that question regarding whatever I’m contemplating eating – “is this food?”)

Trapper, good call on the Clif Bars. They’re the best. I’ve used them for years. And interesting info on the coconut, uni57. I didn’t know that. I think I’ll give it a try.