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Nutrition for Spin

fuel correctly for spin to achieve peak-performance riding,
or risk being the one vomiting in a corner

James Kearslake
James Kearslake

Small business owner,
writer, trans, mental
health advocate

Table of Contents

Understand why fuelling correctly for spin can be the difference between your body achieving a peak-performance endurance flow until the very end of class, or feeling you’re going to vomit by track four.


Rule of thumb for everyone, all day, is eat a source of protein with every meal.

Protein is critical to cell regrowth. This applies to all cells throughout the body, everywhere.

Even if you don’t workout, your body goes through daily stresses in life; cells get damaged, broken, infected. 

Protein is needed to rebuild cells as a micro level, even if you don’t train in a gym.

Eat protein! 


Carbohydrates are critical to sustaining energy during class.

Spin activates the body’s various energy sources during class due to it combining sprints, core strength, and cardio. 

Carbohydrates sustain the endurance and cardio training.

When you have insufficient carbohydrates in the system, you may rapidly experience ‘the wall’ mid-class, where the body very suddenly slows down. Like a car breaking down on the motorway, it can feel like your legs have come to an abrupt finish.

However, timing of eating carbohydrates is key – your body needs to have digested the carbohydrates well before class, so the energy is absorbed into the muscles and ready to be used.

Follow the plan below for guidance.


Eat between 07:00 – 10:00

You can mix things up to your preference, but try to remain aligned to the ‘guidance’ for maximum effect.

  • 50 – 80g of rolled oats (or other low GI food) – cereal is not low GI
  • 1 tbsp of natural honey
  • 1 tbsp of flax seeds
  • sprinkle berries, nuts and seeds
  • 1 black coffee or green tea
  • 30g protein shake, or nutribullet to increase micro-nutrients through fruit and vegetables

I do not recommend toast – it’s a light source of carbohydrate so won’t sustain your training.


Eat between 12:00 – 14:00

Whether you eat carbohydrates for lunch depends on your fitness level, body mass, and resting metabolic rate

I do not eat carbohydrates for lunch, unless it’s light like a wrap. Anything more would make me sick during class.

For a bigger person by mass:

  • 30g of whole-wheat carbohydrates like noodles

For everyone else:

  • 2 whole-wheat wraps

Pair with:

  • a source of protein; tofu, tempeh, fish, chicken, red meat
  • mixed salad and vinaigrette 
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil or natural butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or nut oil

Preworkout snack

A preworkout snack can help you smash it in the spin studio!

Eat between 16:00 – 17:00

  • 1 boiled egg (tin of mackerel, cooked chicken etc)
  • 1 green apple (banana, melon, pineapple etc)
  • 1 green tea


Post workout dinner

Now the fun starts…

You… need… to … eat !

It’s unbelievable how many people tell me they do not eat after spin.

Your body has depleted it’s energy sources during class and is craving real food to replenish the cells, and begin the rebuilding and recovery process.

The body needs fuel in it’s system at night to execute it’s recovery process with maximum effectiveness. 

  • 40 – 60g of a starchy carbohydrate like rice (preferably freshly boiled than precooked in a microwavable bag)
  • a source of light protein – I recommend eating quorn or fish after an intense cardio session. The body can sometimes find meat hard to digest after cardio
  • a handful of vegetables, cooked to your preference
  • 1 tbsp of oilive oil
  • a piece of fruit if want a sweet

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