Have Your Cake and Eat it

When it’s that time on the ride when you indulge in a well-earned slice of cake, what tasty treat should you choose? Registered dietician and sports nutritionist Renee McGregor runs us through the good – and not so good – goodies at a cake stop

Blueberry muffin

Based on the fruity name, you might think this is a healthy option. Think again. At 475kcal and 20.9g fat per muffin this treat isn’t the ideal choice for keeping spare tyres at bay. That said, it does provide you with 66.5g of carbohydrate, so on longer rides when you need to keep your glycogen stores topped up, it provides a much needed boost. Sadly the blueberry content doesn’t count as one of your five a day.

Fruity flapjack

This is one of your best fuel options. Providing around 374kcal, 60.3g carbohydrate and a relatively low 12.7g fat for a 90g portion, this will give you sustained energy due to its main ingredient being oats. Oats are also an excellent source of soluble fibre and have been linked to an ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Dried fruit provides an instant energy fix as well as fibre and iron.

Caramel shortbread

Warning! This should be reserved for endurance rides only. Weighing in at 426kcal, 26.5g fat and only 43g of carbohydrate, it may taste good but you’ll soon be craving your next snack as your blood sugar levels plummet and energy levels dip.

Chocolate brownie

This may not seem like the obvious lower calorie option, but coming in at a mere 335kcal, 22.1g fat and 32g carbohydrate it is one of the better treat choices you can make. Brownies are usually made from cocoa and dark chocolate, both known for their antioxidant properties. Also, dark chocolate is said to stimulate the production of mood-boosting endorphins and is packed with zinc too, known to aid the immune system. Look for ones containing walnuts or brazil nuts, which will provide essential fatty acids and protein to help with muscle recovery.

Lemon cake

With 583kcal, 26.7g fat and 79.4g carbohydrate per average portion this is best for those who are wanting to keep the tempo high on a long ride – glycogen stores will be rapidly reduced as you ride at a high work rate. A slice of this is perfect to maintain speed and performance.

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