Post ride fuel help

Ok so I have a question on eating post ride. We all know that we have an optimum window after we get off the bike or out of the gym to get what we need out of our food. However I feel like a good number of us “9-5ers” struggle meeting this window as most of the people I know and ride with kind of “schedule” their rides into their day. I know for me personally I know the days I’m riding (unless something comes up keeping me from it) and I go to work those days with my bike on my car and my gear bag in tow which means I’m changing into my kit and filling my bottles right after I “clock out”. Sometimes I leave from work on my bike to ride and other times I hop in the car and head to a specific spot to start my ride. Either way upon finishing I personally find it NEARLY impossible to get my bike on my car, gear off and in my bag shoes on, etc…, drive home, make food and consume food in the 30-45 minute golden window.

Can anyone weigh in on how to make this more feasible for people like me?

Thanks in advance


Pre prepare your post ride food and have it waiting for you in the car. Buy a little lunch box style cooler and woof your post ride recovery meal down before and during your drive home.

@Lacey_Rivette 's chipotle burrito packs nicely and you don’t need to heat it up


Thanks @FRANK that’s the option i’ve been going with but was struggling to find something that I could make at 7 am that would still be edible at 630 or 7 that night. I’ll take a look at this recipe for sure


You can make this at the beginning of the week and have the tupperware fully prepped. I would opt for some of those single serve guacamoles in place of the avocado – otherwise you’ll either smush the avocado or it will turn brown!

Some other options that require less prep:

  • Banana and single serve 1-2 oz of trail mix
  • Apple dipped in almond butter + a boiled egg (these 1st two you could find at a gas station!)
  • Baked sweet potato with almond butter and a little granola (can make a few one night and have them handy to eat cold)
  • Baked sweet potato and chicken + hummus or other condiment you like
  • “Overnight” oats made with chia seeds, almond milk, a little cinnamon and raisins
  • Whole wheat wrap with canned tuna, arugula, and guac or hummus

I understand eating whole food is ideal, but what about a recovery shake waiting in the car, that could replenish carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes and hold you over until you get home to make a proper meal?

This is personally what I do, even if I ride from home, it gives me time to kick my shoes off, grab a shower, say hi to the family, cook, etc.

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Hey Chad! I am a huge fan of Gu’s chocolate recovery mix. I often do a serving of that blended with 1-2 cups of almond milk and a frozen banana. You can mix that up ahead of time and keep it in a cooler, or you could just opt for mixing it with plan water if you are in a rush.


The debate around the timing for optimal recovery post exercise has been a huge area of debate for years. However if you notice, the subjects used in the studies referenced are doing resistance training. Not 4+ hours of riding. This is different because it depletes your glycogen stores significantly and if under fueled before/during can result in complete glycogen depletion after 2-3 hours of hard riding. The action of insulin is higher immediately post exercise, thus your muscles are basically like a sponge to any carbohydrates you consume right after training (the exact time frame is still up for debate and is likely different from one individual to another). So I always encourage athletes to eat ASAP after a hard ride. Also, providing yourself some source of fueling immediately after training will help curb that hanger all of us know too well and thus helps you to make better food choices once you are able to sit down and eat a real meal.

Furthermore, none of this research looks at females who tend to become more “catabolic” post training during certain phases of their cycles.


Great info @jamesstevens yes think I read elsewhere that the 30min window is pushed as the be-all & end-all of post ride nutrition by drinks companies whereas it’s not a catch-all solution.

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Ah but you miss the aforementioned glycogen window and the opportunity to replenish depleted glycogen stores, achieve more physiological adaptations and recovery faster/better for the next day’s workout.

Even if you had had a pre-ride snack and/or meal


yeah like I said previously I probably don’t know anything about nutrition and performance. Just deleted my posts.

Absolutely no need to apologize @jamesstevens! I welcoming others asking question/challenging the things I say or adding to the conversation because it often answers questions that others have and encourages critical thinking so that I can better explain the topic in a way that is most useful for our FasCat athletes :slight_smile:

But we are on the same page. Pre exercise feedings does have an impact on the body’s metabolic response peri and post exercise, most notably when protein is consumed before it makes the window for protein post exercise longer - but as Frank mentioned when doing hard intervals or long rides you want to ensure those glycogen stores are topped off. This is especially true for athletes who do not always train the same time of the day and thus have a narrow time frame between sessions (e.g. ride hard later in the evening and then plan to go hard again the next morning).

We also have a large subset of athletes that train early in the morning when fully topping of glycogen stores before training is not a viable option.

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