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A Healthy Diet for a BMX Rider

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
A Healthy Diet for a BMX Rider
Fuel up with carbs to improve speed. Photo Credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

BMX riders race around a 900-foot to 1,300-foot track filled with hills, straightaways, sharp turns, obstacles and more hills. It's a short, fast ride that requires speed and power. To get the most out of every ride, you need to fuel your body right to improve strength, speed and recovery. A healthy diet for a BMX rider is heavy on carbs with moderate amounts of protein and filled with nutrient-rich foods.

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Foods for Energy

If you want to pedal faster, you need the energy to do it. Carbs are the body's preferred source of energy and should be consumed in the highest amounts. Fat also provides energy, but getting too little or too much in your diet may slow you down. Ideally, you should get 3 to 5 grams of carbs and 0.5 gram of fat per pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need 450 grams to 750 grams of carbs and 75 grams of fat a day. To maximize the nutritional quality of your diet, include nutrient-rich carbs and fats such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and healthy oils such as olive oil.

Protein Power

Protein is important for muscle repair and growth, and as a competitive athlete, you need more protein than the nonathlete, though you don't need as much as you may think. A BMX rider should get 0.5 gram to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, or 75 grams to 150 grams for a 150-pound rider. Include mostly nutrient-rich, lean sources of protein to max your nutritional health and riding power. Good sources include lean meat, poultry, seafood, beans, soy foods, eggs and low-fat dairy.

Eating Plan

When training for your events, you need to eat regularly so your muscles are always fueled and ready to go. A healthy BMX meal plan should include three meals and one snack each day. A healthy carb-heavy breakfast might include a whole-wheat bagel with an orange, nonfat milk and a hard-cooked egg. For lunch, you might enjoy a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread with an apple, tossed greens and whole-grain crackers. At dinner, go for grilled salmon with brown rice, broccoli and cauliflower and a bowl of fresh strawberries. A healthy snack might include almonds, raisins and a cup of nonfat milk.

Eating Before and After Competition

Two to three hours before riding, have a high-carb meal with some protein, such as a bowl of whole-grain cereal with a banana and nonfat milk. To prevent stomach problems while riding, only eat foods you're familiar with before your race. What you eat after the race is as important as what you eat before because it helps replenish energy stores and starts the muscle recovery process. This meal should include carbs with some protein, and you should eat it within 30 minutes of completing your race. A good post-game snack might include a cup of chocolate milk or yogurt and a banana. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after the competition.

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