Question: I don’t care for commercial energy bars. What else can I use for fuel on long rides? — John W.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: If you don’t like the taste or texture of bars, you won’t eat them. And if you don’t eat on a long ride, you’ll begin feeling the lack of energy after a couple of hours.
For decades before the mid 1980s, cyclists didn’t have energy bars and they still rode long distances. What you need is food that’s moist, tasty and easy to chew and swallow.
If it can be broken into bite-sized pieces and not turn to crumbs during the ride, so much the better.
Here are just some of many possibilities:
- pieces of apple or orange in a plastic bag
- raisins, figs, dates
- fruit bars
- cream-cheese-and-jelly sandwiches with the crust cut off, wrapped in aluminum foil
- soft cookies such as Fig Newtons
- candy bars that taste better to you than energy bars
Read more about cycling nutrition:
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred's full bio.