Judith Haudum

The Right Nutrition for Indoor Training

More cyclists than usual are currently training at home. Not due to bad weather, but because of the virus that has led many countries to restrict recreational and training cycling. A good breakfast is still crucial for a good start to the training day. However, another good start is to jump out of pajamas into regular clothes. This also helps mentally leave the night behind and be ready for the new day.

Energy for the Training Day

The best breakfast for the morning depends on the training program. The more intense or longer the session, the more important carbohydrates become. A breakfast rich in fats or proteins alone won't be sufficient for setting new records or completing a good training session.

Do you want to fast or have a good workout? Breakfast!
Especially with intense training on the agenda, it's crucial to start the day well-fueled. Set aside the omelet with vegetables or Greek yogurt with nuts and avocado, and opt for cereal, oats, or bread. Or at least include carbohydrates. What your muscles need during strenuous training is carbohydrates.

While some engage in longer workouts, others settle for sessions up to 60 minutes. Sports nutrition products are widely available, but if you are training for 60 minutes and have had a good breakfast, you don't need large amounts of carbohydrates during your workout. However, the longer the training, the more important carbohydrate intake becomes. Anything beyond 60 minutes and approaching two hours requires additional carbohydrates (30 g/h). Nevertheless, this doesn't mean you start after 60 minutes; the intake should be regular. Begin in the first hour. For workouts up to three hours, an intake of 45-60g/h is recommended. And if the sessions extend beyond 150 minutes, the goal is 60-90g of carbohydrates per hour.

Sports nutrition products

  • Gel (25-40 g),
  • Sports drink (30 g per 500 ml),
  • Energy bar (25-40 g),
  • Chews (carbohydrate content varies; approximately 75 g of carbohydrates per 100 g).
  • Note: Many electrolyte drinks contain little to no carbohydrates (2 g/500 ml) – these need to be added separately.

Natural carbohydrate sources

  • Banana (15-23 g of carbohydrates),
  • Fruit bar,
  • Dates (approximately 30 g per 5-6 dates),
  • Tea with 2 tablespoons of honey (30 g),
  • Diluted fruit juice.


Not everyone has a fan at home. We open the window if possible. During indoor training, our sweat rate is definitely higher than outdoors. Adequate fluid intake is therefore important for a good workout. It helps to keep the core body temperature low and reduces the perception of effort. First, make sure to start your training well-hydrated. Second, drink enough during your workout. If you sweat a lot and happen to be someone who has white salt stains on clothing after exercising, then replace not only the fluids but also the lost electrolytes. Third, rehydration is part of recovery. Use the time after the workout to restore your fluid balance. Diluted fruit juice, syrup, tea, and water can help with this.


It is important to support training with energy, but it is also crucial to support the body's regeneration. Carbohydrates, protein, and fluids are essential, especially after an intense and long workout. Start within the first 30 minutes. There are many options for recovery measures:

  • Cocoa (500 ml)
  • Buttermilk with fruit variation (500 ml)
  • Greek yogurt with honey & banana, water
  • Smoothie
  • Sandwich with ham or cottage cheese
  • Protein bar, water
  • Recovery Shake

Further Reading:

Burke et al (2011) Carbohydrate for training and competition. doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2011.585473

Jeukendrup (2014) A Step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise. doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0148-z

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