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A Guide to Post-ride Recovery Essentials

Spokeherd brings to you the dos and don’ts for recovering from a long bike ride:

A Guide to Post-ride Recovery Essentials
Written by Editorial

The time spent off the bike recovering is as vital to an athlete as the time spent training. Post-ride recovery is essential to get you back for your next session. Do not miss the opportunity to repair muscle damage, otherwise you will be left with just aching legs.

Spokeherd brings to you the dos and don’ts for recovering from a long bike ride:


Sleeping is an essential part of recovery in any sport. Muscle-building hormones surge during shut-eye, while those hormones that break down muscle decrease. You should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night and/or try to sneak in a 30-minute power nap after the ride if possible.


After a long day on the road, pedalling through, you may be dehydrated if you don’t manage to take in enough fluids. It’s recommended to drink at least a 500 ml bottle per hour while riding and more depending upon how hot it is where you are riding. After your ride make sure to take in lots of fluids.

Active recovery

A popular method of reducing muscle soreness and speedy recovery is Active recovery, which means that you will have to replace your resting time with light mild exercises and actively recover. While the science often supports it, active recovery has its drawbacks as well. Often effective in reducing muscle damage, active recovery can also lead to exacerbate overtraining, injury, reduced energy and lethargy.


For optimal recovery, it is very crucial to eat something nutritious in the first 20 minutes after a ride, ideally something more nutritious than a bag of salty potato chips.

We suggest to indulge in the following to keep you healthy and active:

Beetroot juice: Beetroot juice can boost your stamina and VO2max owing to high levels of nitrate. Some are even calling it the new EPO.

Fish: Fish contains oils that can have a notable effect on the recovery. The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are able to increase the oxygen intake of damaged muscles and generally lower fatigue.

Fresh tropical fruits: Pineapples, passion fruits and mangos are known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potency to reduce muscle damage after a session.

Vitamin/antioxidant tablets: Tablets containing supplementary antioxidants and vitamins can help the recovery process when used alongside a healthy diet.

Recovery drinks, supplements or tablets: In addition to a healthy diet, topping up your levels of antioxidants, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates is essential, and often supplements can speed this process.

Compression clothing

A variety of studies and testimonies from top riders suggests that pulling on a pair of compression tights after training can make recovery a little more effective and faster.

Ice baths

Ice baths have been a highly publicised technique used by the ultra-competitive cyclists. But it is interesting to note that the majority of the studies contest any benefit of their use. Many researchers found that ice baths actually hindered recovery, while some recent papers suggest a small benefit after sprint training.

Hot/cold therapy

Contrast water therapy which in simple terms means alternating a hot and cold shower or bath which can help reduce inflammation and simultaneously increase circulation. Although it is not a hundred percent supported by the science, many athletes and coaches respect and recognise this method for speeding recovery.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself after a long ride, it’s very important.

Happy Cycling!

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