Power your rides with these natural energy-boosters from ‘The Cycling Chef’ Alan Murchison.

In cycling, as in any endurance sport, the food you eat can make or break your performance.

‘Eating the right stuff is key,’ writes Murchison in his new book The Cycling Chef: Recipes for Getting Lean and Fuelling the Machine.

‘Because it ensures your body has the right levels of all nutrients, not just for those big race days, but for ordinary week-in, week-out training sessions.

‘Without correct nutrition, your body won’t be able to make the most of those training sessions and when it comes to competitions, the energy reserves just won’t be there.’

With that in mind, these all-natural snacks will provide the fuel you need to power on through, without any of the sugar spikes and crashes associated with more artificial energy sources.

Cycling Nutrition: 3 High Energy Recipes To Try | Men's Fitness UK

Chickpea Mocha Brownies

These brownies are ideal for snacking because, being quite rich, you don’t need to eat too big a portion – perfect for on the bike or as a pre-ride snack.

Ingredients (makes 24 x 35g):

400g chickpeas, strained
250g Medjool dates
120g crunchy nut butter
90g coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp good-quality instant coffee (optional)
30g cocoa nibs
60g walnuts

  1. Fit a food processor with the paddle attachment and into the bowl add the chickpeas, dates, nut butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until fairly smooth.
  2. Gradually add the cocoa powder, coffee (if using) and the cocoa nibs until the mixture forms a paste.
  3. Finally, add the walnuts and whizz for 20 seconds max to ensure the texture of the nuts is retained.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 22 x 22 cm tin and smooth with a palette knife. Place in the fridge to set for one hour, then slice into bars. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, although it’s highly unlikely they will last that long!

Kcals: 144, Carbs: 10g, Fat: 9.5g, Protein: 3.4g

Cycling Nutrition: 3 High Energy Recipes To Try | Men's Fitness UK

Raspberry and Banana Ripple-Baked Oats

There’s something quite magical about a slightly crunchy topping with oats and scalding hot fruit. This is reminiscent of old-school ice cream van flavours and so luxurious it almost feels like dessert.

Ingredients (serves 2):

100g oats
300ml boiling water
2 bananas, peeled
80g frozen raspberries
25g almonds, skin-on, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
200ml almond milk
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Meanwhile, place the oats in a bowl and cover with boiling water, just so the top of the oats is covered. Soak for 10 minutes or until softened. Not a second more.
  2. Slice one banana and mash the other in a bowl with a fork.
  3. Stir through the oats the mashed banana, raspberries, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, half the honey and the almond milk.
  4. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and top with sliced banana. Spoon over the remaining honey and the pumpkin seeds.
  5. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown. When cooked, allow it to sit for 10 minutes as it will be way too hot to eat.

Kcals: 502, Carbs: 72g, Fat: 14g, Protein: 13g

Cycling Nutrition: 3 High Energy Recipes To Try | Men's Fitness UK

Nutty Carrot Slaw with Edamame Beans

Here the humble carrot is turned into something a bit special with the addition of some spice and nut butter. Edamame beans take care of protein levels. If the carnivore in you longs for some meat, some teriyaki chicken works well.

Ingredients (serves 2):

100g edamame beans
75g white rice (dry weight per person)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp salted peanuts, to serve
1 tsp sesame seeds, to serve

90g peanut butter
4 tsp white wine vinegar
60g sweet chilli sauce
35g soy sauce
30g chia seeds
380g grated carrot

  1. Make a smooth paste by mixing together the peanut butter, white wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and chia seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing with the grated carrot to make a slaw and refrigerate for 15–20 minutes.
  3. Cook the edamame beans and rice according to the directions on the packs. Season and set aside.
  4. Keep it simple: have a bowl of rice and top with the edamame beans and a generous portion of slaw. Served topped with salted peanuts and sesame seeds.

Kcals: 795, Carbs: 89g, Fat: 16g, Protein: 29g


Extracted from The Cycling Chef: Recipes for Getting Lean and Fuelling the Machine by Alan Murchison (Bloomsbury, £22.00) – available to order now



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