How to Fuel Your First Gravel Ride

Gravel riding is the new craze in the cycling world and if you havenโ€™t already caught the bug, it sure wonโ€™t be long till you are dragged out to explore your local trails by bike. Adventuring off the beaten track and smooth roads requires a little more preparation than other disciplines of cycling, such as route planning, equipment choice, and of course nutrition selection.  There are a few quick and easy changes you can make to your fuelling strategy to make the ride as enjoyable as possible. 

OTE Gravel Riding

Firstly, the type of nutrition you choose is very important when out on the rough gravel tracks. ย Out riding on the road itโ€™s easy enough to eat/drink while on the move due to the smooth roads. When going off road, although the tires will absorb most of bumps and humps, it can make taking on fuel more of a challenge. ย Reaching into your rear pocket then attempting to tear open an Anytime bar can sometimes be tricky when riding on the gravel, especially as a beginner, and hard to keep your balance.


Convenience comes into play here when selecting your choices of fuel. So, instead of having an Anytime or Duo Bar as your fuel of choice on the go, pack an energy gel and fill your bottle up with OTE Energy drink. ย When time if limited to take on nutrition, our Super range is the perfect option to go for.ย ย  For a ride less than 90 minutes the body will have the glycogen stores necessary and so fuelling will not necessarily be needed other than a Hydro Tab to keep you hydrated and a post ride snack. However, for rides upwards of 90 minutes a good target to aim for is around 60 to 80 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This translates to either a bottle of Super Carbs per hour or two Super Gels which are both super easy and quick to consume, perfect for gravel riding where convenience is key.

Array of OTE Products

Gels and Energy Drinks may not be for everyone and so if you choose to fuel using a selection of Anytime and Duo Bars there are a number of things to consider. The first of these being location of fuelling, if itโ€™s a route you have done before then think back to sections where there may be a little bit of tarmac or hardpacked gravel/mud where things are a little smoother, providing a great rest bite and opportunity to reach into your pocket for that bar. A great tip is to open your bars before you set off, this helps increase convenience and makes it far quicker and safer to tuck into your tasty snacks. If itโ€™s an event/course you are not familiar with then consider looking at the GPX file or google maps to try and work out where these sections are to fuel.


When it comes to racing familiarity is key, and so practicing your nutritional strategy is super important, learning what your body responds to best is essential. For some they may prefer the Anytime bar range but for another the Energy Drink range maybe more up their street. Whatever your strategy is practice, this includes practising taking on the amount of carbohydrates you plan on consuming in the event and the sources used so that you know your body is happy with following this plan. If it helps you may find it useful to add a note to your stem reminding you when and what to eat, some newer cycling devices have the technology built in which allows you to add these reminders which could be worth investigating if you are someone who always forgets to keep on top of their nutrition strategy.

How to Fuel  Your First Gravel Ride — OTE Sports

Gravel riding utilises muscles across the whole body, from the core and upper body working to stabilise and keep the bike upright to the leg muscles turning the pedals. This is likely to leave you sore and aching afterwards and so recovery is vital to repair those muscle fibres. Opting for the Chocolate Soya orย  the whey casein recovery drinks are both great options, not only for the protein they provide but also the added carbohydrates and amino acids which further enhance the recovery process by helping to repair the muscle fibres whilst also replenishing muscle glycogen levels so that you are ready to tackle your next adventure sooner.


By choosing the OTE range and taking on board some of these techniques you can take your gravel riding to the next level so that you can ride harder, faster, and further whilst keeping that smile upon your face.


Thank you to Ribble Collective rider Tom Couzens for the great insight and tips for gravel riding!

Find out more about the entire Ribble Collective team through the article below…

How to Fuel Your First Gravel Ride