Food for Thought: A Mountain Biker Diet

Mountain biking is a physically demanding sport that requires skill and a basic knowledge of trails. Though skill and knowledge are important parts of excelling in this sport, a healthy diet is a foundation for success.


Your training diet should consist of nutrient-dense carbohydrates and foods rich in protein, calcium, and iron. Ideally, consuming carbohydrate- and protein-rich snacks 30 to 60 minutes after your workout helps to ensure energy restoration and muscle repair.

It is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after a workout.

Before Competing

The 24 to 36 hours before a competition is the prime time to load up on carbohydrate-rich food before eating a lighter amount around 12 to 24 hours before a competition.

The best meals and snacks before competing include:

  • Oatmeal with bananas
  • Rice or a pasta dish
  • Sandwich with light fillings
  • Baked potato
  • Toast with jam or nut butter
  • Energy bar

Food & Fluid for Competition

For shorter events, simply swishing a sports drink in your mouth for 5 seconds is effective enough for carbohydrate intake. Events that are 60 to 90 minutes in length need more preparation. Experimenting with your individual needs is essential in remaining ready for competition.

Common food and drinks consumed during mountain bike races include:

  • Bananas
  • Energy bars
  • Apples
  • Cheese
  • Sports drinks

Post-Competition Recovery

After exercising, your body will need to refuel and rehydrate. A meal or snack containing carbohydrates and protein will help with muscle recovery and refueling. Drink plenty of fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate.

To reduce inflammation and strengthen immunity, eat nutrient-rich foods, including:

  • Omelets
  • Eggs on toast
  • Yogurt with nuts and fruit
  • Wraps with lean protein
  • Avocado
  • Salads
  • Beef or chicken burgers

You can eat all the right foods and take all the right precautions to avoid a crash, but injuries are still possible. Make sure you seek treatment right away from an expert who knows how to get you back to the races quickly and safely. To find the right doctor near you, click here to use our handy, quick guide now.