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October 31, 2020 4 min read

While someone who hasn’t been on a bike since they were a child might not realize it, cycling is a rather extreme sport. Cycling is one of the most efficient exercises humans can do, and because of that, cyclists are able to ride harder and farther than any other sport.

Pushing extreme distances means that cyclists can deplete their body’s hydration and energy reserves more than in other sports and is also unique in that cyclists can carry food with them on their bikes. These unique circumstances mean that cycling requires unique nutritional and supplemental strategies.

Supplements are an excellent way to recharge and rehydrate without missing a beat during a long bike ride. Still, nutritional needs differ from person to person and from activity to activity. Cycling requires energy, often acquired from carbohydrates and caffeine, and it is much easier on the joints than other sports. Cycling does, however, work every muscle in the body’s biggest muscle group – the legs. Prolonged bike rides mean excessive and extended sweating, which means depletion of vital electrolytes and hydration.

Here you will find Supplement Superstore’s list of the best supplements for cycling. 

Pre-Workout for Cycling

Caffeine and cycling have a unique, if not cultural, relationship. In the beginning years of the Tour de France, cyclists stopped at checkpoints to prove they hadn’t been cheating. At these stops, cyclists refueled on coffee and pastries before continuing in the race.

Caffeine is a well-researched sports supplement that consistently shows improved performance. The additional burst of energy is a benefit for the beginning or a mid-ride cycling boost.

Creatine is another well-researched and clinically proven sports supplement. Creatine can be especially beneficial to cyclists as it allows users to exert maximum intensity for longer than usual by supplying additional creatine phosphate to the muscles.

Choosing a pre-workout supplement that contains both caffeine and creatine can harness the benefits of both these valuable supplements into one convenient pre-workout drink.

Alternatively, you can use a pre-workout that contains caffeine but no creatine and take a creatine powder separately. This allows you to get caffeine from your pre-workout while following a dosing protocol for your creatine if you find that works best for you.

Supplement Superstore’s Pre-Workout Recommendation for Cycling: HD Muscle Pre-HD Pre-Workout

This pre-workout contains 137.5 mg of caffeine per scoop and 1,250 mg of creatine HCL. Additionally, Pre-HD pre-workout contains 1,000 mg beta-alanine, an amino acid involved in buffering acidity in muscles during prolonged, high-intensity workouts.

Alternatively, try Beyond Yourself Pre-Set for a pre-workout without creatine, and add in PVL 100% CreaPure Creatine.

BCAAs for Cycling

BCAA supplements are an excellent way to provide a cyclist with essential BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) needed to support muscle growth and prevent muscle breakdown while introducing hydration and electrolytes back into the body during a long ride.

Cycling over long periods means sweating over long periods. In our sweat, our body also releases minerals known as electrolytes. Loss of fluids and electrolytes can lead to increased heart rate, reduced heat tolerance, slow reaction times, as well as dehydration. All of which can lead to decreased performance and can prove fatal if not addressed.

Many BCAA supplements include hydrating electrolytes. BCAAs are also special amino acids that bypass the liver and absorb directly into the muscles where they are used as a source of energy during exercise. BCAA supplements are helpful in muscle recovery and avoiding excessive soreness, but for cycling, BCAAs are especially beneficial for an intra-workout fueling and rehydrating session.

Supplement Superstore’s BCAA Recommendation for Cycling: HD Muscle Intra-HD BCAAs

This BCAA supplement contains ten grams of all the essential amino acids and electrolytes for superior hydration and muscle recovery.

Carb Supplements for Cycling

In addition to BCAAs for muscular energy intra-workout, check out HD Muscle’s Carb HD supplement. This revolutionary supplement combines low-glycemic carbohydrate sources for sustained energy without the insulin spike.

Carb HD is an excellent addition for cycling supplement stacks as it provides 25 grams of carbs in one serving. Easily mix it in with another intra-workout beverage for an added dose of carbs for fuel on a long ride.

Protein for Cycling

As with any exercise, protein is essential to muscle recovery and growth. While not a source of energy for mid-ride, it is essential for post-workout.

Adequate protein intake is essential for athletes, and it’s best to consume your daily protein throughout the day. Meaning, if you’re riding for six hours, it might be necessary to include protein in a mid-ride snack, if for no other reason than meeting your daily protein needs.

Protein bars are a great option for cycling, as they can also provide you with complex carbs while you’re riding. Whey protein or an alternative protein source shake for after workout recovery is excellent, as many include a dose of BCAAs as well.

Considerations for Supplements for Cycling

With cycling or any other competitive sport, the news is consistently running stories about accidental doping scandals in well-respected athletes. It’s critical that you know what you’re consuming when you add supplements to your regimen. The wrong ingredients in your pre-workout could mean you’re unable to compete, and your reputation is ruined.

Talk with your doctors, coaches, and registered dieticians before you try a new supplement, and always look for third-party testing certifications on your labels. It’s a good idea to find supplement brands that you know you can trust and stick to them. Sticking to your favorite supplement brand is easier than ever as more supplement brands are offering complete product lines.

Cyclists are unlike any other endurance athlete, with unique nutritional and supplement needs to support long rides and muscle recovery. Supplement Superstore is proud to offer the best quality supplements from the most trusted brands on the market. From pre-workouts to protein, the right supplements can mean the difference from an average ride to your best ride yet. Remember that every athlete is different, and what works for one person may not be right for you. Supplements often require trial and error to get you to your best performance.

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