Six tips to beat cycling bonking

Six tips to beat cycling bonking

Tens of thousands of Dutch enthusiasts cycle quite a few kilometers. That usually goes like clockwork. You fly over the asphalt, but then… what is that? Your energy level dips. Pace and wattage no longer seem feasible and 'back home' feels like the longest trip ever. Everyone has to deal with it at some point: bonking. Sounds funny, but is far from that. To keep ahead of it, we have 6 tips for every would be Pogačar.

1. Start the day before your trip


Do you have a nice long training or competition on the program? Then start preparing today. Eat carbohydrate-rich meals throughout the day. This way you ensure that your muscles are fully loaded with glycogen: the fuel to cycle a long way tomorrow. Think of pancakes, bread with sweet toppings, yogurt with muesli or of course a large plate of good old pasta.


2. And continue eating on the bike!

Are you planning to sit on your bike for more than 90 minutes? Take sufficient (sports) nutrition with you and start eating/drinking on time. Even if you don't feel you need it for the first hour. It is virtually impossible to replenish your glycogen while cycling. To prevent this energy supply in your muscles from running out too quickly, you should therefore supplement with carbohydrates from the start. Think of gels, energy bars or sports drinks (bananas, raisins and gingerbread also work well). Try to get at least 50 grams of carbohydrates per hour, up to 90 grams per hour for rides longer than 4 hours. Your body is able to absorb about 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour.

3. Sometimes: dón’t eat!


Yes, that sounds paradoxical after what we just said. We now mean the training rides before your real long ride. You can train your fat burning. You can stimulate this by occasionally taking in fewer carbohydrates during your training. Your body learns to use the fats better as an energy source. Good fat burning postpones a real hunger knock and ensures that you can continue cycling, with energy loss

4. Listen carefully to your body

Just before the bonking strikes, your body already gives you some signals. If you recognize these in time, you can prevent that you really do not move forward. Does every kilometre seem endless? Do you get nasty with your bike mates or do you get colder and colder, pay attention. Even if your breathing rate suddenly accelerates while you are not cycling faster. Your body uses more oxygen to burn fat than to burn carbohydrates. If your carbohydrate supply dwindles, your body tries to bring enough oxygen to your muscles with accelerated breathing.

5. Auxiliary Forces

Once you are really parked with a hunger knock, it is important to fill up on fast sugars as soon as possible. A Mars, Cola or Dextro Energy can do wonders. After about 10 minutes you can continue and some energy flows back into your body. That sweet bar or cola won't help you in the saddle for hours, but pedalling home for half an hour should do the trick.

6. Nightwatch

Cycling is an endurance sport. You need long-term energy for that. Energy drinks can help, but be aware: there is a difference. Many varieties contain artificial caffeine that is released in your body as a boost but quickly disappears. Nightwatch is the 100% plant-based extreme energy drink for focus and power, with extract of the Guayusa plant. Its substances release the caffeine slowly over time, without the quick highs and lows. Guayusa also contains the alkaloids theobromine and theophylline, which increase your ability to focus and raise your energy levels.

Have a nice energetic trip!

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