KJ Sharp – EWS racer and nutritionist is in the kitchen

We almost didn’t call this a vegan breakfast because it might put some people off. But good MTB nutrition shouldn’t be defined by a term like “vegan”. Regardless of what it does or doesn’t have in, this is a brilliant option for riders who are looking for a quick, easy and nutritious breakfast.

MTB nutrition is often misunderstood and one of the biggest questions we get is “what should you have for breakfast?”. KJ is a fan of eating two types of breakfast – a low carb and high carb – depending on what activity you’re planning that day. So this breakfast is a low carb option for low intensity days. Also, being high in fat and low in carbohydrates it can help you become “fat adapted” but only if you train and eat well consistently.

Taking only a few minutes, this pancake is a great option for breakfast and other meals/snacks throughout the day. Here is how it’s made:

  • Start by adding 2 table spoons of ground flax seeds to 5 table spoons of water. Leave to become tick for around 5-10 minutes. This is a great egg substitute.
  • Add 1/2 cup of almond flour and 2 tablespoons of coconut flour to a large bowl.
  • Also add Chia seeds, Mixed unsalted nuts, Sunflower seeds and Cinnamon.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and add Soya milk gradually until you get a pancake batter consistency
  • Fry in a preheated (and lightly oiled) frying pan
  • Flip once after around 5 minutes
  • Add a drizzle of peanut butter
  • Serve
Image of vegan pancake for MTB Nutrition advice.

Although fruit on top would be excellent for nutrients, this would increase the carbohydrate value and in turn mean this would not be a low-carb meal. Don’t let that put you off though, it’s your breakfast after all, just pay attention to what KJ suggests in the video – minimise fruit intake and increase vegetable intake instead.

Why Reduce Fruit Intake?

KJ is a firm believer in lowering your overall sugar intake in favour of vegetables which are nutrient dense. An argument against this is that fruit has so much goodness it would be detrimental to cut it out altogether. We acknowledge this, fruit is nutrient dense and has masses of benefit. But depending on when you eat it there are better ways get those nutrients, and in turn lower your sugar intake.

Best MTB nutrition advice – lower sugar.

Whatever your performance or health goals, insulin can play a massive part in your success or failure. Why? Without going into too much detail here are the key facts:

Energy in the form of sugar is stored in your cells but when it’s used it needs to be replaced. But your cells can’t simply absorb sugar from your blood, it needs insulin to do this. So when you consume high amounts of sugar your body responds by releasing insulin so it can 1. replenish sugar in cells and 2. store any excess sugar for future use.

By consuming sugary foods often, you are more likely to numb the effects of insulin and in turn you become less “insulin sensitive”. This means a couple of things for performance. During and/or after exercise, when your cells need energy the most, your body is more effective at replenishing that energy if you only need a small amount sugar. So by reducing sugar day to day, and only consuming it when you need it, your body is better adapted to to recovering quicker and using carbohydrates more effectively.

We hope this has simplified things so you can see how sugar can be good and bad for performance depending on when you have it and how your body deals with it. Perhaps during longer rides you’ll feel the importance of using sugar when you need it.

For more free information on everything MTB nutrition and bike sports related fitness, visit The Zone by hitting the button below or if you want to jump right in and take your fitness to the next level sign up to one of our programs.