Proud plant pushers, healthy-eating advocates and champions of all-round wellness. Shed create affordable, super-tasty plant-based food that goes big on nutrition and even bigger on flavour. The perfect choice for fuelling your Sunday Ride!
Gels, sports drinks, and supplements have been cyclists’ go-to energy sources for all too long. But what if there were another way? What if you could get the burst that you need from natural ingredients?
You can! Shed, a brand new vendor, will on-site offering a range of healthy plant-based food which they’ve designed based on their in-depth knowledge of nutrition and fitness. Look out for the plant-pushers who will be ready to fuel your ride with natural goodness.
Looking for a healthy way to get the energy you need? Gian Bohan, MSC Sports and Exercise, Plant-Based Nutrition course graduate at Colin Campbell's Nutritional Studies at E Cornell University, and co-founder Shed, a plant-based food startup, offers his expert advice.
1. Sprouted Mung Beans
Packing a whole load of dietary fibre, protein, and potassium, the humble mung bean shouldn’t be overlooked. To get the full benefit of these raw enzyme-rich legumes, have them once they’ve sprouted. Essentially, this process means that they are almost pre-digested.
As any cyclist knows, the less work your body has to do to digest food and turn it into energy, the better. After fueling up on sprouted mung beans, athletes can reap a whole load of energy – ideal for both performance and recovery – without having to burn too much to get it.
2. Beetroot juice
When race day comes around, endurance is everything. If you’re looking for a way to boost your stamina, you might just have found it. Research from the American Physiological Society (APS) suggests that sipping beetroot juice could be the secret to upping your performance.
The reason is simple. Beetroot juice is a dietary source of molecule nitrate, which dilates blood cells and increases blood flow. Drinking this thirst-quenching beverage before a big event could mean that essential organs, including the heart, get more oxygen when you race.
You’ve heard the hype about leafy greens. Athletes around the world include these plants in their diet for one reason. They’re packed with chlorophyll, a pigment which aids the rapid delivery of magnesium and helps to alkalise the body. This helps to prevent acidic build-ups which, unsurprisingly, lead to muscle stiffness.
The benefits of spinach and leafy greens don’t end there. Recent research suggests that nitrate, which is commonly found in leafy greens, can significantly enhance sports performance.
4. Dark chocolate
Chocolate isn’t a sin. We already know that dark chocolate can have strikingly positive effects on cardiovascular health but how can it help cyclists? A study from Kingston University found that riders were able to use less oxygen when cycling moderately and cover more distance after consuming dark chocolate on a regular basis.
Much like beetroot juice, this snack is packed with nitrate, which allows people to take in more oxygen while they are active. Scientists believe that this so-called ‘treat’ could have positive effects when consumed by endurance athletes.
Worried about that post-event pain? Don’t panic. Boasting a wealth of omega-3-fatty-acids, seaweed could be just the thing to aid your recovery. Previous research in the area has suggested that these acids help alleviate muscle soreness and pain 48 hours after training.
What’s more, seaweed is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Dulse, a type of seaweed, has the most perfect mineral balance you will find in nature. Cyclists typically sweat a great deal during events, which means that they lose minerals. Finding the most effective way of replacing them, i.e. by eating seaweed, could be key.
Is it time to ditch your pre-training sports drink? Bananas could be as effective. Recently researchers wanted to find out how bananas stood up against some of the leading sports drinks.
While cyclists performed the same regardless of which they consumed, they noted some interesting points about the fruit alternative. They found that bananas offered a greater nutritional boost than sports drinks. These included higher levels of fibre, potassium and Vitamin B6, among others.
Fuel Your Ride!
Keep your eye out for Shed’s Heroic Bar, which sports glucose from dates, potassium from bananas, fructose from agave, and complex carbs in the form of oats. The bar is completely raw, which means that none of the enzymes are destroyed or lost.