The perfect post-ride meal should be 80 percent carbs, 20 percent protein and packed with natural goodness, but many of us would rather eat something far less wholesome. So, can junk food really help refuel you?
Let’s take a look at a few of our favourites…
- UK readers: can you help us get more people on bikes? Whether you’re a keen cyclist or a complete beginner, we’d love you to get involved in our Get Britain Riding campaign, in association with B’Twin. Click here to sign up!
This south-western, UK, delicacy now has protected status from the European Union: in order to call itself a Cornish pasty, the snack has to be made of minced beef, swede, potato and onion with a light peppery seasoning.
Despite a high fat content (approximately 30g), the protein and carbohydrate content of an average pasty (around 15g and 49g respectively) makes it less of a sin than you might think.
An average pork pie ‘boasts’ 350Kcal, 61 percent of which comes from fat — so don’t pick one every time — and the 500mg sodium content is a heart attack waiting to happen for a couch potato.
However, after a hard ride when you need your electrolytes (including sodium) replenishing, Melton Mowbray’s best is just about allowed.
The equivalent of a portable fry up and a firm British favourite, the average Scotch egg — we’re assuming the outside meaty bit is the ‘Scotch’ — contains 287Kcal, 18.6g of fat, 15.1g of carbohydrates and 12.8g of protein.
Although a whopping 58 percent of the calories from this product come from fat, the egg and sausagemeat provide a fair whack of protein to help your muscles recover after a hard ride.
This is probably the fanciest looking Scotch egg we’ve seen Getty Images / Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer
It might seem counter-intuitive that a thick chocolate milkshake, which could contain a whopping 400Kcal or more per bottle, could actually be what your body needs after intensive exercise, but this drink’s carbohydrate to protein ratio is ideal at 4:1, making it a great alternative to a sports recovery drink.
Oats are an athlete’s friend: naturally low in fat, high in soluble fibre and a good source of slow-release carbohydrates. However, when mixed with syrup and butter in flapjacks, oats aren’t quite so angelic!
An average 100g flapjack comes in at 450Kcal with 23.4g of fat. Half of the 55g of carbohydrate is sugar, so if this is your snack of choice, make sure you’ve earned it.