The trick to eating right is knowing how to make any food, including pizza(!) work for you, not against you.
- By Marianne McGinnis
As cyclists, were pretty picky about what we put into our bodies. But while it’s easy to differentiate good (veggies) from bad (slap chips), it’s not so easy to discern how a food can be your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next. Leslie Bonci, RD, points out that what you choose to eat and when you choose to eat it should depend on your metabolism, digestion capabilities and activity level. So while a mid-ride Coca-Cola can boost energy and stave off the dreaded bonk, its effects are quite the opposite on a Sunday sofa surf, cyclist or not. In that vein, we examined five foods that have a place in your diet if you know how to use them wisely.
Best Friend: Done right with vegetable, fruit and lean-meat toppings, pizza can be nutritious and replace lost energy stores. For your post-ride meal, pizza delivers all the macronutrients you need— carbs, fat and protein, says Bonci.
Worst Enemy: It’s too dense to pile into your belly right before a ride. Also, think before you sabotage a pie with salami, sausage or excessive amounts of cheese, says Bonci.
Use Wisely: Pre-ride, give yourself 2 hours to digest it. Opt for whole-wheat crust topped with a little olive oil, fresh basil, garlic, spinach, grilled chicken and a scattering of mozzarella. To replenish your energy stores post-ride, when your body is most responsive, eat within an hour and stick with the same healthy toppings.