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To prevent banking, where you deplete your body's glucose reserves (stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles), you must consume at least 250 calories per hour of brisk riding, with some before and a few times that after your ride. Eat more at high altitude or if riding hard, as both increase caloric requirements dramatically. Eat regularly to avoid the brutal swings in your blood sugar.

Some stick to conventional foods, such as bananas, and merely keep an energy bar or two stashed for emergencies, which is partly psychological in giving you the energy you need to not eat it.

Turkey sandwiches are a common favourites, having the protein and fat to act in concert with the essential carbohydrate component.
Here are some good snack foods:


In the commercial snacks section is a nutritional comparison of Fig Newtons, PowerBars, Nutri-Grain bars, and a recipe for energy bars.


Especially in digestion-disrupting summer heat, plain crackers and white bread can help to settle an upset stomach.

Fig newtons are great, as they are small and light, but have 11 grams of carbohydrates and about 50 calories each. They are also a great source of sodium and potassium, to replace the electrolytes depleted through sweat. As newtons only have about a gram of fat and 0.4 grams of protein per cookie, it is good to combine them with commercial sport foods and gels, or the energy bar recipes which are high in fat and protein.

If you have a source for real bagels -- not dry wonderbread ones -- they are a great food, especially with some high-calorie cream cheese or peanut butter. Raisin bagels are excellent eaten raw, but avoid garlic or onion bagels as they seem to cause some digestive distress during cycling.
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