Post Ride Hunger

You know the feeling. You gingerly step off your bike (legs feeling more than a little wobbly), lean your bike up against the house and stagger inside with that distant, semi-gurn look on your face, a hollow empty feeling inside your stomach. With your helmet still on, you head straight for the fridge. What comes next is 2 hours of sofa and gluttony.

4 slices of toast, 2 bags of crisps, that left over slice of pizza in the fridge, half a packet of biscuits, 4 yogurts and a cheese sandwich (without the salad – there’s no time for it) all get consumed before you’ve so much as thought about taking a shower. All the good work you’ve done out on the road has just been undone by the 2500 calories you’ve just consumed.

Here are my tips to dealing with that incessant post ride hunger.

1. Start on the bike

You’ve got to ensure that you’re eating the right things on the bike to ensure your in the best shape when you get off it. Ideally you want to be ending a ride no more hungry than when you started.


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Every rider is different. I have club mates that won’t think anything of a brisk 100km club run without eating a thing. Others prefer a constant stream of gels or energy bars while some folk (like me) prefer real food like bananas, jam and peanut butter sandwiches to keep the tank fueled.

2. Plan Ahead

You know you’re doing your weekly long ride on Saturday so make sure you’ve got some good food in. If you get home and there’s nothing but junk, you’ll eat junk. Plan ahead so you know exactly what you’ll be eating post ride leaving less margin for junk to creep in to the equation.

3. Immediate post ride drink

There are plenty of ‘recovery drinks’ on the market that claim to be specifically formulated to optimize your body’s recovery. While i don’t doubt they do a good job i prefer a more natural solution.

The aim of these drinks is to get some fluid in and fill you up temporarily to stave off the hunger cravings for an hour or so.

Here are my two favourite recipes:

i) Chocolate Banana Shake – Add 1 pint of milk, 1 banana, and 2 teaspoons of chocolate milkshake powder to a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Not only does it taste great but chocolate milk has long been hailed as having the right balance of protein and carbs (link to your article: to optimize your recovery.

ii) Orange & Strawberry Fruit Smoothy – Add 1 pint of orange juice and a handful of mixed fruit (I buy the bags of frozen fruit for convenience) to a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. I find this drink great especially in summer time when i’ve been sweating out those salts. Drinking a serious hit of fruit juice just feels right.


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4. Clean Yourself Up

After you’ve got your post ride drink in, go get yourself cleaned up. I always find i’m more likely to eat healthier when I am freshly showered and have that self righteous post ride buzz flowing through my veins.

5. The Meal

Now the important bit, the post ride meal. You can go off and research protein to carbohydrate ratiosĀ  and count calories but i take the moderate approach.

  • A piece of grilled chicken or fish
  • A portion (4oz) of pasta (i often have cooked pasta kicking around in the fridge)
  • Steamed veggies such as beans, carrots or spinach (easily cooked in a microwave in a bowl with a little water if you’re no Gordon Ramsey)
  • A fruit yogurt for a little sweetness to seal off the hunger


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So they you have it, my strategy to beat the cavernous pit that is post ride hunger.

What is your post ride routine to refuel your body? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jon Bradley April 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm

After my usual Sunday morning “big” ride..(around the 50m mark)
Its always started at 6am so back in time for brekkie? I always have flavoured milk shake drink, half litre of cold water (out the fridge) refreshes you more. Which I consume during prep and consumption.
Cup of green tea
Scrambled eggs
grilled rindless bacon
toast(wholemeal seeded)
A little salt and pepper and hey presto…..:)
Oh. and a kiwi or other piece of fruit as pudding! lol
I find the milkshake staves off the post ride wobble and cave man approch to the fridge?


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