Healthy fats for cyclists

If you have taken on one of the bigger cycle for charity challenges such as a coast to coast, London to Paris or a ride that will include a few large hills it’s important you understand Fat.

Fat suffers from an unfortunate name and cyclists should not confuse dietary fat with ‘being fat’. In fact, it is actually advisable that people engaging in endurance activities increase their consumption of dietary fat because fat can help meet their very specific needs.

In particular, the body will utilise fat as a source of energy during longer periods of lower intensity exercise, such as cycling. Cyclists can actually train to build ‘carbohydrate-efficient’ muscles, meaning more fats are burned before depleting your glycogen stores. This is something you should plan to do if you are undertaking a ride of more that 100 miles.

Cyclists also need fat to provide essential fatty acids (EFAs) and fat soluble vitamins. EFAs have an anti-inflammatory effect and therefore decrease recovery time following endurance activities, whilst vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body through fat. See the ‘Vitamins and Minerals’ section.

Good sources of fat include:

oily, cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring

nuts & seeds, avocados, olives and certain oils.

Take a look at all our yummy recipes with are full of protein, good fats and all the essential minerals and vitamins