Do-it-yourself energy bars
After my disasterous under-fuelling (see my last post), I thought it worth talking a little bit about the importance of keeping your energy levels up when on those longer rides. There is a lot of information about this on the web, and of course I will point you to those amazing folks at GCN (Global Cycling Network) who have several videos on the subject. For me it boils down to one thing; if you don't eat until you're hungry, you've left it too late. I've now got a simple habit - eat something every 10 km, whether you feel like it or not. I generally switch between a banana, an energy gel and a piece of the most wonderful energy bar I've every tried. Speaking of which, I think I should talk more about these energy bars.
The following is dedicated to GCN who provide the go-to YouTube service for anything and everything about cycling. The recipe reproduced here is theirs and I take no credit for it. If you'd prefer to watch them make it, I point you to their YouTube episode.
So, here's the recipe (copied from the GCN YouTube channel.... I hope they don't mind).
Baking tine, roughly 25 x 15 cm (10 x 6 inches)
Sunflower Oil - 120ml / 3/4 cup
Soft Dark Brown Sugar - 200g / 1 cup
Golden Syrup - 2 tbsp
Peanut Butter - 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds - 25g / 2 tbsp
Sunflower Seeds - 25g / 2 tbsp
Flaked Almonds - 50g / 1/2 cup
Sultanas - 50g / 1/2 cup
Chopped Dates - 50g / 1/2 cup
Thick cut porridge oats/oatmeal - 225g / 8 oz
Oven temperature: 180 degrees C / Fan 160 degrees C / 350 degrees F / Gas Mark 4
Add the Sunflower Oil, Soft Dark Brown Sugar, Golden Syrup, Peanut Butter and Vanilla Extract to a pan and heat over a low heat until melted and mixed together. Next, add the Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Flaked Almonds, Sultanas and Chopped Dates. Gradually stir in the thick cut porridge oats/oatmeal. Transfer mixture to a baking tin lined with parchment. Roughly 25 x 15cm or 10 x 6 inches. Press down firmly with a metal fork. Place in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don't get over done. Finally, leave to cool in the tin before you take them out and cut them. Enjoy!
HEALTH WARNING - these bars are extremely high in calories. Great for energy on a ride, but definitely not for casual snacking around the house!!
I am not an expert on nutrition and offer the above as reading that you might find interesting. Nothing more, nothing less. If you're serious about this subject, start with the GCN videos I mention above and take it from there - they know far more about this subject than I do.
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