One of the most important aspects of motocross training is actually done from a bike.
You won’t break a sweat, get muscle cramps or beg your trainer for mercy. It all starts in the comfort of your own kitchen. Nutrition is just as important to success on the track as learning the fundamentals of dirt bike riding.
Not only does proper nutrition allow you to endure the punishment of a motocross track, but the right foods allow your body to take on the challenges of motocross and recover from injuries faster. A healthy “motocross diet” is key to maintaining high levels of energy, strength, endurance and mental awareness – all critical to competing and winning.
If you’re serious about the moto lifestyle, know that the accompanying nutrition is also a lifestyle. If friends want to go to the local greasy spoon to devour a burger and fries, you can certainly come along, but don’t expect to partake in their culinary habits.
The best motocross diet contains plenty of carbohydrates from fresh foods. Protein and fat are also important, but the majority of your calories should come from carbohydrates, not processed or refined sugars. Say goodbye to alcohol, colas and other “juice drinks” that contain little or no fruit juice.
To help you get started, we’ve boiled it down to a simple, easy-to-follow guide:
First things first – drink plenty of water. Hydration is an important part of a successful motocross nutrition plan. Yes, water can be consumed in the form of 100-percent juices and plant-based beverages, as well as milk, but drink plenty of clear stuff, too. Water is vital on training and race days. Feeling like you can race through thirst is one thing, doing it is another. Dehydration affects your muscles and overall alertness. Eventually, your body will start to seize up and the endurance needed to race will quickly diminish.
b) Vegetables, fruits and whole grains
Sounds like we’re promoting the old food pyramid you probably learned in elementary school. It’s true. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains – not the refined white flour stuff – help boost overall health and wellness. The vitamins, minerals, and fiber these foods contain keep your body functioning optimally, keep you alert, and help shorten recovery time from tough workout days.
Pasta is a common pre-race food for marathoners and should be there for you when you’re preparing for a race. Avoid cheap highly processed white flour pasta in favor of whole grain semenola and/or durum among other options.
c) Lean meat
Ditching the cheeseburger isn’t absolute – you can still enjoy a cheeseburger, but not the dripping fat bomb that typically describes one of America’s favorite dishes. Lean meats, including beef, but especially fish and poultry (eggs are great!) provide high-quality protein that helps rebuild muscle, increase strength and improve performance. So the cheeseburger? Lean beef, a slice of cheddar, tomato and onion on a whole grain bun.
Snacking is a must! But not the kind of snacks with chips and Coke. This is where your fruit comes in. Snack on oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, all fruit. Carrots, celery, peanut butter and beans are also powerhouses. Keep processed oily and salty foods to a minimum and fill up on fresh foods, which contain a lot of nutrients and also hydrate.
e) Avoid large meals
Your new motocross diet probably won’t make you feel like there’s a brick in your stomach. You try to avoid that anyway, right? But overeating even the right foods can weigh you down and slow your metabolism. Eat several small meals throughout the day. This will keep your body constantly supplied with nutrients and help you avoid the uncomfortable feeling of heaviness that comes with eating too much.
Taking supplements is always a personal decision and should be discussed with your doctor. However, once you have decided on a supplement, you can follow taking the recommend and prescribed products and witness the changes happening within you.
Sticking to this diet is not easy at first, and sometimes it’s not fun when you see others feasting on delicious-looking but forbidden foods in the motocross diet. But with time, it will not only become a habit, you will feel better physically and mentally, and even if your moto days are behind you, you will probably stick to it for life.