Motocross Nutrition – Simple Steps To Help You Ride Better

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Is motocross nutrition something you think about or take seriously to improve your riding? If it’s not… maybe it should be. My goal here is to help you realize the importance of a proper diet and how it can improve your dirt bike riding skills.

I am not in a position to give you advice on exact foods and supplements, but rather to provide you with an outline of what general foods are good and bad for your system, and how you can begin changing those dirty old eating habits.

When it boils down to it, there’s no real difference between ‘motocross nutrition’ and just plain old general health and nutrition. It’s about your food and liquid intake – what you stuff into your gob. You’ve heard it before, “garbage in… garbage out…” Think of your body as a type of engine made out of living flesh and bone. An engine is designed to run on fuel right? If you pour orange juice or diesel into a petrol motor it’s not going to run very well (at all) is it?

Now I’m no health expert but it’s quite clear to me that Mother Nature intended for us to eat certain, natural foods, to keep us operating at our optimum. As a rule of thumb man-made, refined foods such as deep fried hot dogs, pizzas, icecream, and fizzy drinks are just plain bad for you! Sorry to break the news to ya, hold back the tears. Whereas natural foods such as vegetables, fruit, grains, lean meat and water are the ducks nuts when it comes to providing your temple with sufficient nutrients. Loading your body up with these types of foods is like adding avgas to your fuel mix!

What Are Some Of The Benefits Linked To Proper Food Intake And In This Case, Motocross Nutrition?

  • Improved Mental Clarity: Vital for racing.
  • Increased Energy Levels and Stamina:
  • Stronger Immune System: Can’t ride too well when you’re blowing snot out all ends can you? Fend off sickness and heal injuries faster through proper nutrition.
  • Stronger Muscles & Joints:

There’s more than enough compelling reasons above to inspire you to correct your diet and quit stuffing your face with doughnuts and Fanta at race meets. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give these ‘bad’ foods up entirely.

I’ll share a helpful tip I’ve used to alter my dietary intake. Make a list up that has the numbers 1-30 down the left side of the page – these represent days. At the top of the page write down your goal or desired food intake change. Make it simple to begin with. As you prove to yourself that you can stick it out for 30 days, you can begin tackling bigger changes. The goal is to tick off each day that goes by that you stick to your new plan, without missing a single day.

Early January ’09 I wrote at the top of my page… “Eat fruit every day.” Now this may not seem like a big deal to you, but for someone who sometimes went without fruit for over a week – it is a big deal! I can honestly say, that by mid March I’d eaten at least 1 piece of fruit every day since, and most days at least 3-4 pieces of fruit. And I definitely feel better for it.

So, the thought of improving your motocross nutrition and overall health doesn’t have to conjure up images of The Apocalypse or The Grim Reaper. Begin taking control of your nutrition intake one habit at a time and enjoy the improved results you get at the track.

What You Can Do To Improve Your Motocross Nutrition

  • Begin eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains daily: Be sure to wash fruit and veges to clear them of pesticides and sprays.
  • Cut back on junk food, processed foods and simple sugars (all the tasty stuff): Things like fizzy drinks give you a roller coaster-like burst of energy but in the long run will sap you of vital energy. This includes Redbull and Monster Energy! Junk food will only clog up your system and slow you down, mentally and physically.
  • Drink enough water: Most nutrition experts recommend around 2 liters p/day. But during intense, sweaty conditions ie. race meets; this needs to be upped. Don’t wait till you have a headache – by then you’re already dehydrated.
  • Supplement your diet with vitamins: Do your homework on these first before you start popping them like tic-tacs. Vitamins are not created equally. Some in fact, are worthless – they can’t even be absorbed properly by your body.
  • Supplement your diet with protein powder: This stuff’s not only for the Beef-0-Maniacs at the gym! A quality protein powder will improve your strength and health, and decrease recovery time between training – meaning more bike time for you.
  • Eat 5-6 smaller meals p/day: This will speed up your metabolism, helping you to burn fat and provide you with more energy.
  • Eat lean, protein-rich meats such as beef and fish: A no-brainer really. Meat provides essential proteins and iron to help build a strong, healthy body.
  • Add some Super Foods to your diet: Super Foods such as blueberries, alfalfa sprouts, flax seed, soy, turkey, tomatoes, beans, oats, salmon, chlorella and cranberries pack incredible amounts of goodness into them. Begin eating at least one of these foods daily.
  • Cut back on the booze: Wait! Don’t hit the back button! At the risk of sounding like a party pooper I have to speak from experience and say that drinking loads of alcohol doesn’t do your riding skills any good… truly.

Some Tips For The Highway

I’m just as bad as anyone when it comes to hitting the road with our bikes loaded up ready for a big day of riding. That last minute rush in the morning and… whoops, forgot to pack a proper lunch again! So, a quick stop at a service station leaves me with a back seat full of potato chips, fizzy drink (and beer), some chocolate bars and a few mince pies. Sound familiar? Next time you’re about to hit the road, put a little thought and prep into it and consider these ideas…

  • Take a chilly-bin/esky/cooler (whatever!) and use it to keep fruit and sandwiches in. Take a spare one for drinks. This makes it more appealing on hot days to have fresh, cool food.
  • Cook meals like stir-fries loaded with veges and lean meat the night before to take with you. Quick, easy, nutritious and tasty!
  • If you are going to make the effort to improve your motocross nutrition, you might as well make sure you wash your hands before piling that fruit into your pie hole. Oily, greasy, sweaty, dirty hands handling your food is a great way to knock your immune system around.
  • Tell your girlfriend or mum about your new healthy-eating plans. If you have a good one, she’ll whip you together some healthy food and save you the effort ;). If you are a girl reading this, who has a boyfriend… good luck convincing him!

Conclusion For Motocross Nutrition

If you make the effort to improve your nutritional intake, you will feel fitter, stronger and healthier which can only improve your riding skills on the bike. If you are really serious about your motocross nutrition, seek professional advice. Remember, there’s no one-specific nutrition program for everyone, so take the time to figure out what works for you.

Comment from a Reader

Hi lovers of all things to do with pics, tips, bikes and dirt. My name is Pete I have been Hayden’s best mate for over twenty years and also own and run B3 Personal Training Ltd. I have a Diploma in Fitness Training and have been involved in the fitness industry for over ten years now. I started riding with Hayden when he had a 1991 RM80 that blew up on his first day costing him $900! I rode a 1990 DR200 four-stroke tank. We had heaps of fun riding on all my uncles farms, with HB always edging me out I have to say.

Whilst I am biased and Hayden is my mate, I will be totally honest. Just like the time I had just broken up with my girlfriend and was feeling kind of glum. So I head over to Haydens house for a bit of cheering up… when I tell him the sad news he responded with, “Good cause you turned into a softc@#k…” So I would have no hesitation letting him know that the information he’s provided about nutrition was crap. It isn’t, its great stuff!

Hayden wanted me to add more information regarding race nutrition, but honestly I think the best idea is to keep it simple. There’s no need to make good nutrition a complicated ordeal and it is too easy to get bogged down in details. Use the simple rules he’s provided and do your own research to find what works best for you.

Some food for thought…

The less food has been tampered with by man, the better it is for you. For example an Apple = Perfect. Home-made apple pie = Not so good. Reconstituted apple juice with no less than 15% real apple juice(what is the other 85% made up of?!) = Bad.

You can use this knowledge with all types of foods to figure out what you should be putting in your mouth. Choosing these natural, untouched foods over man-made foods will be much better for your health and performance.

Time for a test to help me prove my point…

Friday – Eat fatty, high-sugar junk food all day, drink fizzy drinks, and if you are of legal age and enjoy the odd lager or two get on the beers in a big way during the evening. Do your best to get up early in the morning and go for a 30 min run with your mates, but seriously, don’t get on your bike when you are too hung over or still drunk. Chances are you will perform terribly and feel like shite.

The following Friday – Eat loads of fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat (chicken or fish), consume plenty of water and stay off the cans! Go for exactly the same run at the same time Saturday morning. I’m confident in telling you that you will wake up feeling great and go for the same run, but you will perform at a much higher level. Simple stuff right? But how often do you neglect your body like this?

You don’t have to become a monk or nun to keep your nutrition in check, but stay off the beers and junk food especially the day/night before you race or ride. If you want to ride hard and kick the competition, think seriously about your motocross nutrition. It’s all too often overlooked but is so vital to peak performance in any sport.


Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

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