Grills & Thrills

Once you're deep into your training summer will be here once again, and that means getting the grill on. Which is a bonus, because it turns out barbecue grub could improve your cycling too. Here’s how.

Dos and Don’ts

Barbecuing is a pretty healthy cooking technique because a lot of fat drips onto the coals below. Cook meat until it’s well done to minimize the rick of salmonella poisoning. Don’t read ‘well done’ as ‘done until black’ though, since this presents a new set of risk factors. Chemicals are produced when cooking meat at very high heats that have been linked to certain cancers. To minimise this rick, don’t eat the charred parts since these contain higher levels of the chemicals.

Oooh, saucy!

Researchers in Canada have found most off-the-shelf barbecues and marinades are full of antioxidant ingredients that can boost your immune system. Herbs and spices are particularly full of bug-busting goodness, and the researchers discovered that, even after the meat was cooked, half of the antioxidant value remained.

Red’s all right

After years of telling us that red meat will clog up our arteries, studies have found that we Brits generally don’t eat enough of the stuff and that we’re therefore missing out on iron. The Meat Advisory Panel found that the average British male eats 96g of red meat a day and the average British female eats just 57g – figures well below the artery-clogging zone of 130g or more per day. In moderation, red meat is good for boosting iron levels, which in turns helps with exercise performance and muscle adaptation.

Burger fan

The most traditional of barbecue grub, one 4oz burger, contains around 22g of fat, as well as a muscle load of protein and iron. Combine it with a wholemeal bun and you’ll enjoy some excellent slow-release carbohydrate too.

Eating out

Another BBQ bonus is that it involves spending time outside in the glorious British sunshine, and boy is it glorious right now. While eating outside, you’re upping your daily dose of vitamin D, which helps lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and strengthen your bones, helping you to stay healthier and more able to spend hours in the saddle. So, don’t hesitate to sling another steak on the barbie in the weeks leading up to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this summer!