Skip Navigation

Find the Trails

Nutrition On The Trail

Making sure you bring enough (and the right kind of) food and drink, and consuming it in the right quantity at the right time, can make a massive difference on the trail.

Particularly if you are going to be out for more than a couple of hours, it is worth making sure you get it right, or you can have a miserable time of it.

General Pointers

Some good general pointers based on experience are as follows:

  • You need to replace the energy you are using, to stay on form
  • You are using it gradually, so replace it gradually - eat something EVERY hour at least
  • Don't starve until halfway through the day and then stuff yourself
  • Keep drinking - just keep sipping away every 10 minutes - 1 litre an hour is a decent general rule
  • Eat BEFORE you get hungry and drink BEFORE you are thirsty

Some Good Trail Foods

Everybody has their own preferences and some have their secret potions, but this is as good as any without getting too scientific about it all.

  • Nutrigrain bars, Nutrigrain Elevenses, Tracker bars, flapjacks, cereal bars
  • Jellybabies, Liquorice Allsorts, Jellybeans
  • Bananas, apricots, prunes
  • A sandwich - nice just to break the monotony of sweet stuff
  • Crisps, nuts, Pepperami - If you can fit them in. Salty food is great for a change from sweet stuff, and helps to stop you cramping on a long day
  • Energy gels - light and compact, they give you a good kick in the backside if you find yourself seriously flagging, but they are sickly sweet, cost over a quid each, and make some folks boke!
  • Water, sports drink, diluting cordial, not fizzy stuff (Lucozade Sport is OK too, but water it down half and half, or it is poison)

Suggested menus

The quick blast close to home

Not really that big a deal if you don't get it spot on, since you are close to home and not out too long, but just make sure you eat and drink something. Have a bowl of cereal before you go out, just so you are not empty. Rough guide from there as follows:

  • 1 litre of fluid per hour
  • A cereal bar
  • Some jelly babies

Out for the day (4 - 6 hrs)

You DON'T want to run out of fuel on a day like this. Volume of grub will depend on intensity and size of your appetite generally, but a decent mix is as follows:

  • 1 litre of fluid per hour - DON'T skimp on this
  • 3 or 4 cereal bars
  • Some jellybabies
  • Small bag of salted peanuts
  • A sandwich
  • Pepperami
  • A gel, just in case you feel drained
  • Remember - just keep grazing away!

Monster epic away from civilisation

Like the one above, but chuck in a few more bits and pieces just to make sure, and then something else! It is better bringing too much than too little.

NOTE: The trails on this site have been ridden before, but you should not interpret their inclusion as an indication that mountain-biking is officially sanctioned on them. Seeking permission from landowners is your own responsibility, as is conducting yourself in a manner that is courteous, respectful to the environment, and conscious of the safety of others.