Fuel Your Rides

If you have attended a class with me, you may know that this girl loves her food. What you may not know, is I truly love healthy food and the science behind what fuels the body, too. Healthy, more specifically, clean eating focused on whole food nutrition became a passion of mine several years ago after reading alarming information about what is actually in the “everyday” foods we may consume. While we do not think you should have a fearful relationship with food, we at Flow do want you to know what you are putting into your body – especially when it comes to pre and post workout options. Our counterpart and sister studio, Iron Orchid, offers nutrition counseling that mimics those very ideals through a new program called IO Nourish. We believe a healthy lifestyle means finding balance, moving well, fueling your body and loving the journey along the way. The NEXT monthly session begins March 5th! --> Read more about our program HERE!

In order to simplify things, let’s narrow our lists to focus on just two elements of our day: pre and post spin. How can we gear up for our ride and how can we best refuel our body after it is complete? If you have ridden with us at Flow, you know that it is entirely possible and normal to burn beyond 500 calories in less than 45 minutes. Preparing your body for that intensity mean showing it some love… with FOOD! Yes, we consider food our friend – it truly is fuel and provides that much needed energy for that class. We will not get too “science-y” because we think you can Google all you need to know about the “why’s” behind these choices, but I stick to whole foods and you will see that reflected in my list. Here are some of my favorites options below…


My Pre-Workout:

  • Gluten free toast OR Ezekiel Bread and a nut butter - I love almond or cashew butter (look for brands with no added sugar and no palm oil – as simple as possible!). I am not gluten intolerant BUT I do prefer to avoid gluten. I just feel lighter when choosing GF options. Learn more about Ezekiel Bread HERE.

  • One banana and one tablespoon of cashew butter with cacao nibs (see above for nut butter advice) – be adventurous with nut butters as long as the ingredient list is SUPER simple! Yes, they can be expensive but they also last quite a while.

  • One hardboiled egg, one piece of gluten free toast and ¼ an avocado ***add Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel” spice and you. are. welcome. This is hands down my fav pre workout meal!

  • Plain Greek grass-fed yogurt with berries and raw organic honey

  • A protein shake with almond milk (no added sugar), cinnamon, and a scoop of Vanilla Bone Broth Protein by Dr Axe – I cut my protein shakes in half for pre-workout depending on how much time I have. A whole shake is just too much if I am riding less than an hour from my breakfast! If I am particularly hungry that morning, I add half of a banana, as well. If you can tolerate whey, Iron Orchid recommends LifeSource's line that works great for their clients.

  • A Source Juicery “morning kiss” juice and protein bites – this place is my jam!

  • COFFEE… and no, it is not for everyone but… COFFEE. I love coffee. My riders know this and know when I have consumed a bit too much. Sorry, not sorry.

*** I'm often asked about actual pre-workout drinks. As you can see, I am a HUGE proponent of whole foods. No preservatives, additives, chemicals or synthetic ingredients. I believe that whole foods give us everything we need. BUT – the cleanest pre-workout I have found is by Dr. Axe – the Burst Coconut Lime flavor is a bit interesting, but mixed with some fresh squeezed grapefruit and/or orange juice and I am set!


My Post-workout:

Greens of any kind – kale, spinach, arugula, or anything in the fridge topped with a protein such as canned tuna and a hardboiled egg – throw on any chopped veggies you can find! I also like to add some almonds and ¼ of an avocado. This is more of a method for me – greens, protein, fats and some crunch. I rarely use dressing – instead, I ALWAYS have homemade mayo in my fridge and I mix it with a few spices or red chili sauce and I am set. Kelsey Albers, our Iron Orchid nutrition counselor changed my life with THIS recipe.

A “bowl” – again, this is a method more than a recipe. I keep quinoa, chopped peppers, and a protein like ground chicken in my fridge and combine them. I vary the veggies I add and season it in all different ways. Again, adding avocado or some mayo helps me to get those healthy fats in for my day!

On the go – I am occasionally headed somewhere directly after my class. My go to grabs for post spin meals are a curry chicken salad wrap from Source Juicery (can you tell I am a HUGE fan?!?!) or, if I am in a bind, I grab a protein box from Starbucks. This option is not as well sourced but it will do in a pinch!


I personally rely on ideas from other bloggers, as well. One Green Planet is a favorite of mine and has more ideas to jump-start your focus on the fuel! 

So, next time you are making that grocery list or trying to choose what to consume before and/or after that ride, refer to our list! I am always game to chat about more options or reach out to learn more about our IO Nourish program!


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About the Author:  Lacey Sonderegger is a spin-a-holic, university communication instructor, mother of two, wife, and friend to everyone. She is passionate about creating lasting relationships in everything she does and helping others find enjoyment in Spinning!