Cycling and supplements go together like quads and zilla.

Professionally, it’s a sport where you’re in the saddle for hours, competing for your slice of the slipstream so any pedal assist in the form of supplements is always welcome.

At a recreational level, while cycling may be the sport of choice for the suburban MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra), it still offers opportunity to be competitive, especially if you don’t want to be the last to arrive at the finish line café when the rest of cycling group is already finished their lattes.

How can you stick with the pack?

While lunges, pasta bowls and foam rollers will get you halfway there, supplements are a valued weapon in any cyclist’s engine room.

While cycling and supplements may have a somewhat suss relationship, when you put the celebrity cheaters aside, the average athlete should focus more on giving their body the best.

These are cycling supplement playbook worth following:

  1. Use the 4:1 Rule

Endurance athletes should stick with a 4:1 carb to protein ratio to both fuel and refuel their body after a grueling training ride.

This ratio is proven to give the muscles the fuel they need to keep pedaling and repair the damage done.

  1. Side – Step the Cramps

Cramps can feel like your calves have taken an aggressive screen shot and been flexed into place, but we’re not sure exactly what causes them, so shore up all your defenses.

Try supplements like electrolytes, B vitamins and magnesium as these can offer relief but don’t forget to squat either because that’s got a curiously good track record for fighting cramps.

All the above are excellent recovery aids anyway, so you’ll be greasing the chain for your performance to improve.

  1. Fuel on the go

If you want instant energy on the fly, cycling has your back with a selection of gels, bars and drinks that can top up your energy super quick.

For the best results, look for products that carry multiple energy sources, so the oomph isn’t easy come, easy go and is geared more towards sustained release that gets you through the latter part of your ride.

  1. Always Reach for Quality

Supplements for cycling are different to other sports because you often need to take a great deal of them so never skimp on quality.

How can you tell?

Choose supplements that use a company like the Banned Substance Control Group which offers third party testing for supplements that can boast their BSCG Certified Quality™ and BSCG Certified GMP™ seals.

The former seal verifies that a supplement’s ingredient identity and label claims meet specifications as well as checking for heavy metals, microbiological agents, pesticides, and solvents.

The latter onsite audits to verify that manufacturers are compliant with Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). These seals should fill you with a sense of trust.

  1. Get a Pre-Ride Insurance Policy

While you may think cycling is good for lung health, research found a high number of endurance athletes often get respiratory infections.

Stock up on recovery aids to take after rides, such as colostrum protein, zinc and vitamin C, D to make sure your body is getting all the raw materials it needs to be ready for tomorrow’s ride, not just nutritionally but by way of immune support.

Follow these easy steps when shopping for your supplements and you’ll soon find yourself wearing the yellow jersey on your Sunday ride.