Sunday, 4 October 2015

Smart Shopping List - Cycling Nutrition

We all know the importance of eating right. What you eat is vital to your health, your mood and quite definitely your performance. You are what you eat: so your shopping list could be likened to your body's fuel receipt. Are you fuelling right?

In this post, I thought I'd outline the kind of items that often feature on my own shopping list. The product selection is strongly influenced by insights that I've gained from nutritional experts, as well as key ingredients used in recipes from books like Hannah Grant's 'The Grand Tour Cookbook'. I've split the list out into different nutritional categories, to make sure all bases are covered, and also to hopefully give a wide range of alternatives.

Hopefully it will give you some ideas for your own weekly shop...


  • Whole Eggs - Yolks are a source of Choline - important to reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Wild Salmon and Smoked Salmon - Fish is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Frozen Plaice Fillets - White fish is a rich source of low-fat protein.
  • Smoked Mackerel - Makes a great quick-and-easy high-protein risotto. High in Omega 3.
  • Sardines and Tuna - Ideal store cupboard protein source.
  • Poultry (Chicken, Turkey) - Easy to digest, super-lean protein source
  • Lean Beef Mince or Diced Beef - High in iron, B vitamins, zinc and selenium.
  • Cottage Cheese - Low in fat, high in protein, high in calcium.
  • Greek Style Yoghurt or Skyr - More protein than standard yoghurt.
  • Whey Protein - For home-made recovery shakes.
  • Semi-Skimmed Milk - Still a super-food/drink.
  • Humous - A great healthy lunch or snack
  • Mixed Bean Salad - Great to add to leafy salads. High in fibre and protein.
  • Mixed Nuts - Almonds and cashews in particular. Almonds are high in vitamin E, copper and magnesium. 


  • Porridge Oats and Oatmeal - The 'King of Carbohydrates'.
  • Sweet Potatoes - Super high in vitamin A and C, as well as iron, potassium and fibre.
  • New Potatoes and Baking Potatoes - 'Skin-on' means more fibre.
  • Brown and White Rice - Brown rice is ideal for everyday, white rice for pre-ride/race.
  • Lentils and Quinoa - Slow release energy, high in protein, high in fibre.
  • Wholemeal Bread - A good source of B vitamins.
  • Whole Wheat Pasta - A lower-GI carb source than white pasta.
  • White pasta - Still preferred by many, especially just before an event/ride.
  • Cous Cous - Basically, it's pasta, in a different form.


  • Olive Oil- The best 'healthy fat'.
  • Rapeseed Oil - Good for high-temperature cooking.
  • Peanut and Almond Butter- Full of good fats, vitamins and protein. 
  • Coconut Cream and Oil - Rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) - i.e. 'Good fats'.
  • Seeds - Pumpkin, linseed, sunflower seeds. Add them to bread mixes to reduce the GI level.

Fruit and Veg:

  • Spinach - High in iron, magnesium and calcium.
  • Celery - A source of vitamin A and C. High in fibre.
  • Cucumber - High in B vitamins. High in fibre. 
  • Carrots - A source of vitamin A.
  • Cherries - Super high in anti-oxidants.
  • Blueberries - High in vitamins K and C, and anti-oxidants.
  • Tomatoes - Source of vitamin C.
  • Mixed Peppers - Packed full of vitamins.
  • Pak Choi - A nutrition powerhouse. Potassium, vitamin A, C and K, and loads of minerals.
  • Oranges - Vitamin C for a healthy immune system.
  • Apples - A good source of fibre.
  • Pears - A good source of fibre, vitamins B2, C and E.
  • Bananas - Instant fruity energy, high in vitamin B-6.
  • Broccoli - Vitamin B-6 and vitamin C. 
  • Beetroot - High in performance boosting nitrates.
  • Onions - Best lightly cooked. These are packed full of folate, potassium and magnesium.
  • Mushrooms - High in anti-oxidants. 
  • Celeriac - Vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium.
  • Butternut Squash - Vitamin A, B-6 and C, and magnesium. Dietary fibre.
  • Dried Fruit - Dates, raisins, apricot - Great for 'Pimping Your Porridge'.


  • Fresh Coffee - A natural caffeine kick. Far better than instant!
  • Green Tea  - High in polyphenols, a strong anti-oxidant.
  • Herbal Tea  - Many health benefits, including relaxation.
  • Fruit Juice  - High in sugar, but useful for pre-ride energy


  • Herbs and Spices - For example, turmeric is proven to decrease muscle soreness. Basil may reduce inflammation. Mint can calm bowel troubles.  
  • Fresh Ginger - Great for adding a bit of zing, and proven to reduce muscle soreness.
  • Garlic - A very powerful antibiotic, may help to reduce blood pressure. 
  • Multi-Vitamins - See them as an insurance policy, just in case you don't manage to get all your vitamins and minerals in a well balanced diet.
  • Dark Chocolate - Rich in minerals and anti-oxidants. Just don't over-do it!

Time to go shopping...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Review: Swrve Modal Cotton Henley Top

Regular Life In The Saddle readers will be familiar with the Swrve brand; it crops up in reviews a few times a year, and I'm always impressed by the quality, fit and feel of the products; not to mention the superb durability. The Swrve Modal Cotton Henley Top maintains that great reputation...

Ideal for the cooler months of autumn, this long sleeve feels great against the skin. The soft modal cotton fabric, flatlock seams and seamless armpits, mean it is comfortable enough that it could be worn as a base layer, or layered up with an under-tee in colder conditions.

As with other Swrve products that I've tested, the Henley has a great trim fit. It also has some subtle details that help to make it more cycling-specific than your standard tee; such as a higher cut front hem and a lower cut rear, to help overcome that uncomfortable gap problem.

The collar design, with its three soft rubber buttons, means you can shut out the chill. Whilst the stiffer material around the collar, stops untidy fraying over time and adds to the durability.

Another smart, superbly fitted and durable piece of casual apparel from Swrve. A brand well worth checking out.

Size tested: Medium
My measurements are listed here

View the Swrve range at (Link)

Friday, 2 October 2015

Weekend Watch: 2015 Men's RR World Champs Highlights

I case you missed this last weekend, or you just fancy another look. This was an insane show of strength and tactical genius from Peter Sagan. What a bike rider!