Feed Zone Portables is an excellent cookery book – though that's only half the story. As well as a wide range of recipes for fuelling your riding, it also has lots of useful information about nutrition for cyclists.
Anyone who's been around the pro peloton at the start of a race will know that it's not just bars and gels that the riders tuck into their pockets: there are almost as many different foil-wrapped homemade snack choices out there as there are riders, some of whom have even been known to swap food with other teams on the go to get hold of stuff they prefer from a different team chef.
Biju Thomas and Allen Lim know this, as they've been working with professional cyclists for many years, and have developed a wide range of on-the-go recipes for ride nutrition, with a thorough grounding in the science of nutrition to back it up.
This book isn't just about the 75 recipes: you're 70 pages in before the first one. The start of the book is concerned with how in-ride nutrition works, and how to get the best from it. There's really good information on how much you really need to eat and drink, whether your calories should come from food or drink, the importance of hydration and much more. It's a bit heavy going at times but there's a wealth of information in there to digest. There's even a section for wrapping your snacks like a pro.
The first section of the book is dedicated to rice cakes, which are such a staple of the pro peloton that it's difficult to understand why they don't feature much more in the world of mass-produced, off-the-shelf ride nutrition. Maybe they just don't lend themselves to large-scale production. Anyway, there's a big range of sweet and savoury options.
Then there are eggs, pies, waffles, cookies and cakes, and more: baked pasta, sticky oat-based snacks, burritos... Whatever your preferences, there should be something in there to suit you.
It might take a while to work your way through the book to find out what works best for you, but it won't be an onerous task, with plenty of tasty recipes in every section. Along the way there are soundbites from a wealth of professional athletes extolling the virtues of homemade nutrition.
Overall, it's a genuinely interesting and useful book, with a wide range of ride nutrition options to try, and plenty of science at the start to get your teeth into as well. If you're fed up of struggling down gels or bars to keep you going, this is well worth getting hold of.
Excellent resource for learning about ride nutrition and making your own ride snacks
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Feed Zone Portables
Size tested: Hardback
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
From the publisher: When Dr. Allen Lim left the lab to work with pro cyclists, he found athletes weary of processed bars and gels and the same old pasta. So Lim joined professional chef Biju Thomas to make eating delicious and practical. Their groundbreaking Feed Zone Cookbook brought the favorite recipes of the pros to everyday athletes.
In their new cookbook Feed Zone Portables, Chef Biju and Dr. Lim offer 75 all-new portable food recipes for cyclists, runners, triathletes, mountain bikers, climbers, hikers, and backpackers. Each real food recipe is simple, delicious during exercise, easy to make''and ready to go on your next ride, run, climb, hike, road trip, or sporting event.
Feed Zone Portables expands on the most popular features of The Feed Zone Cookbook with more quick and easy recipes for athletes, beautiful full-color photographs of every dish, complete nutrition data, tips on why these are the best foods for athletes, and time-saving ways on how to cook real food every day.
In his introduction to Feed Zone Portables, Dr. Lim makes the case for real food as a more easily digestible, higher-performance source of energy than prepackaged fuel products. He shows how much athletes really need to eat and drink at different exercise intensities and in cold or hot weather. Because the body burns solid and liquid foods differently, Lim defines a new approach for athletes to drink for hydration and eat real food for energy.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
75 all-new recipes that taste great during exercise: Rice Cakes, Two-Bite Pies, Griddle Cakes, Waffles, Baked Eggs, Sticky Bites, Rice Balls, Ride Sandwiches, Baked Cakes, and Cookies
A smart introduction on how real food works better for athletes
More than 50 no-fuss gluten-free recipes, including great-tasting cookies and cakes
More than 50 vegetarian recipes
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Really well, great range of on-the-bike options and lots of interesting science and opinion.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Wide range of recipes, good scientific grounding.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Really good resource for understanding eating on the bike, and lots of good recipes.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.