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What To Eat After A Fasted Ride – 11 Ideas And Why

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Fasted rides are a wonderful way to break down excess fat and train your body to use fat as fuel!

That said, there seems to be some confusion about what to eat after a fasted ride or any fasting workout for that matter, as well as how long after the ride to start eating.

In this post, I’ll look at:

  • 11 stellar ideas for after-ride snacks and meals that give your body the nutrients you need
  • What your body needs after a fasted ride
  • What should you eat after a fasted ride
Scrambled eggs on toast

11 Things To Eat After A Fasted Ride

1. Chocolate Milk

One item that always shows up on every post-workout nutrition list is chocolate milk, and that’s for a good reason. Chocolate milk has pretty much everything your body needs to recover.

The main ingredient, milk, is chock-full of protein and electrolytes. This makes it the perfect recovery drink for your muscles, preventing catabolic damage caused by exercise.

You also get the sugar, which provides a healthy dose of simple carbs your body sorely needs after a long workout on an empty stomach.

In fact, chocolate milk was touted for its benefits in a 2012 study that help with performance, indices of muscle damage, and muscle glycogen resynthesis.

It also helps how delicious it is and how easy it is to digest if you’re not feeling like eating a full meal after a fasted ride.

2. Protein Shake With a Banana

Protein shakes are a quick and easy way to get your nutritional requirements after a fasted ride. After all, having one can prevent the dreaded bonk after you’ve cycled a little too far for comfort.

Aside from having milk, the extra protein in the form of protein powder can help you achieve your desired muscle gains.

As for the banana, it has a good amount of nutrition in the form of potassium and antioxidants and provides your body with the simple carbs needed after fasting.

Carbs also help your body utilize the protein you’re having in the shake by causing the release of insulin, a hormone that directs your cells to use the food you eat.

All you need to make this shake is to blitz up milk with one scoop of protein powder and a banana. You can also add other fruits you think will improve the flavor and add more nutritional value to the shake.

3. Greek Yogurt With Berries

Yogurt is a great post-workout snack that you can easily access after your fasted rides. It has sizable amounts of protein as well as calcium with some natural carbohydrates, as well.

Opting for Greek yogurt and berries after your ride is a sure way to get your protein and carbs, as well as some added vitamin C and minerals. You don’t even have to use fresh berries, as frozen fruit will do in a pinch.

What I like about Greek yogurt is how creamy and luxurious it is. You can even blend it with berries and freeze the mixture in a popsicle tray for a refreshing snack after hot summer rides.

4. Eggs and Toast

If you find yourself famished after a morning ride on an empty stomach, you can get your nutritional requirements by having good old eggs and toast.

It’s funny that these two breakfast staples are such a good combo for a post-workout meal.

Eggs are an incredible source of protein at 13 grams per egg, and toast is just plain and simple carbs.

You can have your eggs hard-boiled or slightly scrambled with a little bit of olive oil. Just avoid frying them to skip the extra fat.

5. Oatmeal (or Cereal) and Milk

Keeping up with the breakfast theme, a bowl of oatmeal with milk is every bit as satisfying as a full meal after a fasted workout.

Oats are a great source of slow-releasing carbs that are relatively easier to digest than other fiber-rich foods.

Using honey or agave as a sweetener gives you the right boost of glucose right after your ride.

If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, cereal can do the same job. Just try to avoid cereals with added sugar.

6. Tofu and Quinoa

If you’re following a plant-based diet, you can have just as much protein as a carnivore can from this almost magical source; tofu.

Besides the 8 gms of protein per serving, you also get phytonutrients like polyphenols and antioxidants. These reduce oxidative stress on your muscles and prevent soreness and fatigue.

Quinoa is also a double threat, providing you with an extra helping of protein alongside the carbs. It’s also fairly easy to prepare and you get a full meal together in no time.

tofu and quinoa
Tofu is a fantastic source of protein

7. Salmon and Sweet Potato

Salmon is a classic lean protein you can prepare in so many ways and not get bored of it. It’s also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which help your body recover after the stress of a workout.

Sweet potatoes, aka yams (although not technically the same thing), are a certified superfood. You can bake them and have them ready to devour with your freshly-cooked salmon and have the perfect meal after your fasted ride.

8. Chicken and Rice

A staple for anyone who’s ever meal-prepped, chicken and rice is an easily accessible and affordable post-workout meal.

The protein in chicken is also pretty bioavailable, with a whopping 31 gms of protein in a 100 gm serving of chicken breast.

As for rice, you can either go for regular white rice, or substitute it for brown rice to get a little more fiber.

9. Tuna on Whole-Wheat Bread

Tuna packed in water is a wonderful way to get your protein after a ride without worrying about fat intake.

It’s also a good source of B vitamins, and just like salmon, provides you with Omega-3 fatty acids at a fraction of the cost.

You can have it as a sandwich on whole-wheat bread for convenience, or toss it with a few chopped veggies and some low-fat mayo for a quick tuna salad.

10. Shrimp and Grits

This Southern comfort dish actually does pretty well as a post-workout meal.

Shrimp has a startling amount of protein at a whopping 24 gms of protein per 100 gms. I was just as surprised about it, trust me!

As for grits, you can skip the long cooking time and the absurd amount of butter involved by opting for quick-cooking polenta with a drizzle of olive oil. This meal is both delicious and spot on in the nutrition department.

11. Beef and Whole-Wheat Pasta

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, a bowl of pasta is just what I need and nothing else works.

Having this craving after a fasted workout can result in a super delicious sliced beef and Fajita veggie whole-wheat pasta that scratches the itch just right.

All you have to do is saute the onions and bell peppers in a tablespoon of olive oil, season them well, and then add the thinly sliced beef. Cook until done and toss with well-salted, al dente whole wheat pasta and dinner is served!

What Does My Body Need After a Fasted Ride?

Carbohydrates are the fuel your body uses to create energy. They provide the brain and muscles with easily-accessible glucose to keep things running and are stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen.

If you go on a ride in a fasted state, your body quickly depletes the glycogen stored in your liver first, then your muscles. It then has to find fuel elsewhere, and that’s why it taps into your fat storage.

Working out at a low intensity helps your body break down fat and convert some of it into glucose. If you pick up your speed, you’ll quickly realize it’s a bad idea.

Your body can break down muscle faster than it breaks down fat to access quick energy, so your muscles bear the brunt of a high-intensity ride on an empty stomach.

Exercise intensityFatMuscle
Low-intensity exerciseBreaks downRemains intact
High-intensity exerciseRemains intactBreaks down

After any kind of workout, your body needs both carbohydrates and protein to replenish its stores and recover from the exercise.

When Should I Eat After a Fasted Ride?

If you’re going on a fasted ride in the early morning, then you should go for a full meal within 45–60 minutes of finishing.

If you’re having lunch and then going on a ride in the evening, you should probably have a recovery drink within 30 minutes, followed by a full meal within 60–90 minutes of your workout.

To Wrap Up

Knowing what to eat after a fasted ride can save you the frustration of trying to put something together when you’re tired and hungry.

While cycling in a fasted state has so many health benefits, like weight loss and better fat metabolism, you still need the proper nutrition to fully recover.

That’s why these 11 ideas of great protein and carbohydrate combos will make your body thank you for how well you’re taking care of it.