mountain biking guide

Cross Country MTB (2 to 5 hour event)

Breakfast before

Breakfast should be light and high in carbohydrate, cereals, toast and porridge are good examples. To start your caffeine loading program, drink the following amounts of Energy Drink Caffeine Hit, in the period 60 to 90 minutes before the start of you ride, according to your bodyweight.

40kg: 425ml
50kg: 550ml
60kg: 650ml
70kg: 750ml
80kg: 750ml + 1 Energy Gel Caffeine/Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine
90kg: 750ml + 2 Energy Gel Caffeine/Energy Gel Aqua Caffeine

10 minutes before the start

Drink 200ml to 500ml Energy Drink. This counts towards the drink you have consumed in the first hour.

During your event

Focus on drinking as much as possible. The recommended intake for new generation Energy Drink with 2:1 fructose is up to 90g per hour. Depending on how much you are able to drink, you may need to take gel to further boost your carbohydrate intake. If you drink the following amounts of Energy Drink each hour, also take the number of gels shown:

800ml or more: No Gel
750ml: 1 x Energy Gel /Energy Gel Aqua
400ml: 2 x Energy Gel /Energy Gel Aqua

The first gel each hour should be Energy Gel Caffeine. Any remaining gels taken in that hour should be standard Energy Gel (no caffeine). 

Sensitive To Caffeine?

If you have a medical condition or do not wish to use caffeine for another reason, then simply switch each of the products detailed above with the non-caffeine equivalent from High5 and ignore the section on caffeine loading before your event.

Anti-cramp strategy

The American College of Sports Nutrition states that:

“Muscle cramps are associated with dehydration and electrolyte deficits and muscle fatigue.”

Adding ZERO Neutral Tabs to your drink boosts the electrolyte content and provides magnesium. This might be particularly useful in hot conditions.


Drink 400ml Recovery Drink as soon as you finish. Eat a balanced meal one to two hours later.


  • Substitute Energy Gel Aqua for Energy Gel if you wish.
  • These guidelines should provide your body with the maximum amount of carbohydrate it can absorb. Do not eat or drink anything else. You will not need it.
  • Carbo-loading before an event can increase the amount of carbohydrate you have stored by 30%.
  • A few of the riders that suffer from cramps, may also find that caffeine can make them worse, so you may wish to substitute the caffeine products listed with their non-caffeine equivalents.

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