Whether you're on the road or relaxing on your sofa, protein is a vital part of any cyclist's diet. During a bike ride, protein slows down digestion, preventing spikes in your blood sugar. In the meantime, when you're body is recovering, protein helps to rebuild tissue and restore your muscles (muscles need repairing because they get tiny tears in them when you are working them).
Sources of protein are easily found in lean meats, fish and low-fat dairy products. However, these aren't exactly easy to eat on-the-move or in between workout sessions. This is where the handy protein bar comes in; they're a simple way to stock up on protein whilst out and about, easily slotting into your jersey pocket or small cycling bag.
Nevertheless, fitness fanatics have cautioned us to be more wary of shop-bought bars, which could carry hidden chemicals and preservatives. They can also be quite pricey.
Why not make your own protein bars? Hey, there's a good idea.
Is it pretty straight forward to make your own protein bar. It is also low-cost compared to shop bought. We have included two fantastic recipes below to ensure that your protein levels are sufficient when you're out on a ride, plus an additional special homemade gluten-free breakfast bar that is simply delicious and full of essential fats perfect for energy release on long rides.
*Note, we are not chemists, food specialists, or any other organisation that deals with food, health and safety. So we must say that anything you make for yourself is your responsibility and you should ensure all ingredients are safe for you (or whoever else will eat these homemade bars). They contain nuts so check out the ingredients carefully.
Homemade Protein and Snack Bar Recipes
Cherry Almond Protein Bar (Makes 12)
This delicious cherry and almond high protein snack will give you the energy boost you need, along with a sweet cherry flavour. The almonds give you a dose of all those healthy fats that will give your body plenty of energy to keep you pedaling. The protein mainly comes from vanilla protein powder.
Homemade protein bar ingredients:
- 10 x scoops of vanilla protein powder
- cup of almond meal
- cup of sliced almonds
- 3 cups of frozen dark sweet cherries
- 1 cup of egg beaters
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 4 tbsp of almond butter
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
How to make the protein bar:
Dice up the cherries and let them thaw for around 30 to 40 minutes on two layers of kitchen towels in a bowl. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180 degrees and mix together the remaining ingredients.
Spray a baking tray with fat-free cooking spray to avoid them sticking. Pour the mixture into the pan, bake in the oven for 10 ' 12 minutes until cooked through.
Try not to overcook as the bars will become dry. Let them cool and pop them in a sandwich bag ready for your next ride.
No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Bites (Makes 12)
For those who want a little sugar hit after a ride, try these ridiculously tasty chocolate protein bites. The chocolate protein powder will offer you that much-needed nutrition, and it also tastes great. Plus, you don't even need an oven.
Chocolate protein bites ingredients:
- 9 scoops of chocolate protein powder
- cup of flaxseed meal
- ' cup of natural peanut butter
- 1 tbsp of honey
How to make the chocolate protein bites:
Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl, adding a little water along the way if necessary. Use a tablespoon to scoop out half-spheres and place on a plate or baking tray.
Pop the bites into your freezer for 2 hours before snacking on. If you can't wait, they can be eaten right away, but they definitely taste better when frozen.
Gluten-Free Blueberry Breakfast Bars (Makes 8)
These gluten-free blueberry-infused bars are perfect for a mid-morning snack. They're also vegan and 100% naturally sweetened. While they do not have added protein powder they are full of goodness and will definitely keep you going on long rides. The nuts and almond butter will give you the essential fats you need to get that energy release as you work your muscles hard.
Gluten-free breakfast bar ingredients:
- 1 cups of gluten-free rolled oats
- cup of pistachios
- ' cup of ground flaxseed
- ' cup of walnuts
- cup of sunflower seeds
- ' cup of pure maple syrup (or honey)
- cup of unsweetened applesauce
- cup of dried blueberries
- cup of whole almonds
- 1 cup of almond butter
How to make the gluten-free breakfast bars:
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, ensuring that the paper hangs over the edges.
Combine the oats, nuts, blueberries, sunflower seeds and flaxseed in a mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup and apple sauce and continue mixing. Then, add in the almond butter till everything is mixed together and ready to place into the tray.
Spoon out the mixture into the tray and press down with clean hands, or a roller to ensure it's as even as possible. Place in the freezer for an hour. Remove the slab from the paper and baking tray and place on a chopping board to cut up into long bars.
There you have it, three fantastic homemade protein and snack bar recipes perfect for when you are out cycling (or getting ready to cycle). Give them a go, we're sure you'll love them.