You’ve made the effort to lay out your shoes and chamois, get up at the butt-crack of dawn, and squeeze in those kms before riding your office chair all day. Don’t derail your dawn patrol ride by shovelling a few cookies in your face as you dash out the door.

With just a few minutes of prep the night before - or in some cases, just a few seconds the morning of - you can fuel yourself with a real, performance-oriented meal.

What and how much you eat, of course, depends on the kind of ride you have on tap, says Beth Lipton, creator of 21-day wellness program The Reboot and resident chef at Middleberg Nutrition.

“If you’re heading out for a short, easy ride, you can just have your coffee and go," Lipton says. "For longer rides and workouts, however, good nutrition is key to feeling good and getting the most out of your time.” Here’s what she recommends...

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding
Photograph by annick vanderschelden photography

Hailed in 2009’s Born to Run as the super food of the Tarahumara barefoot runners in Mexico (as well as ancient Aztec warriors), chia seeds are excellent for a shot of energy in the morning. “Chia seeds keep you full without being overly filling,” says Lipton. “They’re also filled with healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as some protein and minerals.”

1 cup almond milk or other liquid (see below)
3-4 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 Tbsp. raw honey
Stir all ingredients together in a jar; cover, shake and chill overnight.

Optional adds: Fruit, nuts, spices, more/less sweetener. Also feel free to substitute a different liquid, like coconut milk, or coffee, or a combo.


Coconut Buttered Mango Strips

Coconut Buttered Mango Strips
Photograph by coffeekai

Dried mango strips are soft and chewy like jerky, but they’re not overly sweet and they have some fibre to help you feel full. “Coconut butter fat gives you sustained energy for staying power on your ride,” says Lipton. For a super quick and easy breakfast, grab a couple of strips, slather them with coconut butter, and away you go.