Dirt biking is a grueling sport which demands much energy and stamina, mental clarity, strong muscles and joints, and a healthy immune system. Fueling yourself up with the right nutrition (solid and liquid), before during and after the dirt bike ride, is essential to perform well. It will also keep fatigue and dehydration away.
Make sure you have adequate reserves of water with you all the time. If the event is going to be particularly long and hot, sports drinks are useful sources of fuel, fluid, and electrolyte. However, owing to their sugar content, you should use them judiciously.
Before the Ride
A few days previous to the ride, you should take more carbohydrate with little protein. The aim of this is to replenish muscle glycogen and energy. You can ideally have your last main meal 3 to 4 hours previous to exercise. Some options include French toast, a small pasta or rice meal, cereal with fruit and milk, or bagels. The time gap is particularly useful if you tend towards stomach discomfort from gravitational forces. The food would have digested by then.
Some would prefer to have a pre-race snack such as an energy bar, or apple with peanut butter 30 to 60 minutes before the race while others wouldn’t. Go with what your body tells you.
In the Course of the Dirt Bike Ride
If the race is no less than 2.5 hours, you need to take in 60 to 90 grams of carbohydrates every hour. Ideally, consume water at the rate of 15 ounces every half hour. Make use of your motorcycle top or side case and equip it with a hydration pack with some following ideas for snacks to put in it:
- Tinned fruit (think pears or peaches)
- Energy bars (ideally containing whole grains, nuts, fruits and similar ingredients)
- Peanut butter, jam or honey sandwiches
Finally, after the ride!
After the first day’s ride, you would have to consume approximately 0.8 g of protein for each kilogram of your weight. This is to rebuild any frayed muscle tissue, in preparation for the following day.
A protein shake or smoothie is great to give yourself adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fluids. Keep drinking water. Other food suggestions for immediately after the exercise are flavored milk, or ham, salad and cheese sandwiches. Your dinner can be pasta/rice/toast with chicken, beef or eggs.
Now that you know what you need, food and fluid-wise for your dirt biking, just purchase and pack.