I have been a professional mountain biker for the last six years, and, in the last three, I have done ultra-endurance stage races and one-day events all over the world. I joke that the reason I ride is so that I can eat. Good food is part of living well. But good food doesn’t mean you have to check the flavor at the door. I focus on cooking meals that not only taste good, but have health benefits and fuel me for optimal performance at my next race.
I tend to focus on foods that are high in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. Foods with such properties aide in muscle recovery and overall health. Physical exercise is a type of oxidative stress on the body, so antioxidants help negate the potentially damaging effects of free radicals and augment recovery time. Inflammation from exercise and some diet choices is common in athletes. Finding natural ways to control the effects of inflammation is also a key ingredient to faster recovery.
Sonya Looney is a professional mountain biker focusing on ultra endurance and stage racing events. She was selected to the USA Marathon World Championships team in both 2010 and 2011.