The end of the year provides the perfect time to reflect on your personal triumphs and struggles of 2022. You can use what you learned from your wins and losses to figure out your goals for the new year—and how to better achieve them. While you might begin with looking back at your training rides and race finish times, another piece of the performance puzzle includes your nutrition strategy.
The editors and writers of Bicycling sift through tons of research every year and talk to dozens of experts, as we aim to bring you the knowledge you need to make the most of your meals, snacks, and drinks for lasting energy and expanding progress on the bike, along with better overall health.
To recap the knowledge we picked up this year, we rounded up the top nutrition stories of 2022—the articles Bicycling members gravitated to the most—to bring you the take-home info. Read on for what we learned, so you can build on it in 2023.
Reassessing Your Relationship With Alcohol
The term “sober curious” may have become popular last year, but the mindset seems to have thrived into 2022. When the World Heart Federation (WHF) released a statement saying that no amount of alcohol is good for the heart, readers flocked to the story to hear more. While the benefits of drinking simply don’t outweigh the risks—even if previous research said moderate intake of alcohol, like red wine, can support your heart—the key takeaway is that alcohol consumption is indeed associated with serious health conditions. That includes heart disease, high blood pressure, and even strokes.
What’s more, drinking after a hard ride can serve up some downsides, like impairing recovery and contributing to dehydration. That’s why Bicycling editors weighed in on how they control their alcohol intake, so they can perform at their best.
To learn more about how alcohol can affect your health and performance, plus what to consider when rethinking your relationship with booze, check out these top stories:
Getting More Out of Your Rides With the Right Fuel
Whether you’re planning on a century ride, a bikepacking trip, or you’re heading out for a typical winter lunch ride, finding the right food to feed your energy is crucial to maintaining your stamina. Thankfully, we have plenty of tips on how to fuel properly for all your miles.
As one writer learned, wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help you pinpoint exactly what different foods do to your energy levels, so you’re better informed on what your body needs and when. She explains what CGMs are and the info they provide, so you can determine if using one is right for you and your goals in 2023.
If you’re looking for the best foods for winter riding or bikepacking or you want to know more about continuous glucose monitors, check out these top stories:
What to Know About Nutrition and Metabolic Health
While there is plenty of research tying foods like fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to better health outcomes, what you eat (or how much you eat) doesn’t always determine your metabolic status or whether you sidestep illness. Many factors come into play, especially when it comes to obesity.
After chatting with an obesity researcher and decoding a study on different types of obesity, we learned that there are often things outside our control that play into our weight and health, and the connection between the two. That’s why the number on the scale doesn’t tell you much. To learn more, check out these top stories on obesity:
More About Specific Nutrients You Need
Athletes need nutrient-dense foods to support performance and recovery. One nutrient that often gets overlooked: fiber, which is why we listed out the best foods to help you meet your needs. Not only does fiber keep you full and satisfied, but it also supports your digestive system and general health.
When it comes to macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat—it’s helpful to learn more about the best sources of those foods, too, especially for cyclists. While lean protein sources and whole-grain carb sources (along with fruits and vegetables) are a little more obvious, choosing the healthiest fats can feel tricky. Our guide to healthy fats makes it easier.
For details, read these top stories:
Deputy Editor, Health & Fitness
Mallory Creveling, an ACE-certified personal trainer and RRCA-certified run coach, joined the Runner’s World and Bicycling team in August 2021. She has more than a decade of experience covering fitness, health, and nutrition. As a freelance writer, her work appeared in Women’s Health, Self, Men’s Journal, Reader’s Digest, and more. She has also held staff editorial positions at Family Circle and Shape magazines, as well as DailyBurn.com. A former New Yorker/Brooklynite, she’s now based in Easton, PA.
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