Deliveroo meets: Jonathan

Jonathan has shared some great tips about how riders can stay energised on the road!

Jonathan Beckett is a Deliveroo rider in Oxford. He is a Chemistry graduate from Oxford University who, after 3 years working in a cancer research lab, went on to start Fuelit.

Fuelit is a small company, which helps to find the best sports nutrition for athletes.

Jon started riding bikes about 5 years ago, after being a cox for his college rowing crew at university. From there he’s raced all over Europe, mostly in 24 hour events. He also raced for Great Britain at the 2014 Amateur World Championships. As a result, he is in a good position to know a lot about what it is that athletes and Deliveroo riders alike need in order to fuel them!

We asked him some questions about how Deliveroo riders can stay fuelled out on the road. Read through our conversation below to find out more!

What are the nutritional requirements of a Deliveroo rider?

There’s only so much you can control when logged in. You can’t change how long you have to wait in a restaurant, for a customer, or what the weather is like.
Depending on what sort of rider you think you are, there are different nutritional requirements. You have the riders that sprint everywhere, and then maybe have to wait around in restaurants for a bit, and the riders who ride steadily, but still get to the restaurants in time. Both types of riders will need to regularly eat, to replace any lost energy, but the sprinting type riders may need something extra.
Sprinting can require you to ‘go into the red’ (anaerobic exercise), and will necessarily burn extra energy. It can also produce that burning feeling in your legs from lactic acid build up.

So how does someone prevent running out of energy and get rid of that burning sensation?

Handily it’s quite a simple solution. When on the road I’d recommend eating an energy bar or two to just add to your energy reserves, and then keep an emergency energy gel in your pocket in case you have a sudden drop in energy. As for that burning feeling, the funny thing is, the more regularly you get into that position is a good thing, as it increases your tolerance! So, while it may hurt now, it will get easier.

Tell us - how important is it to keep hydrated?

In the middle of winter, this might not be the first thing that would come to mind as a problem. I’ll admit that I’m just as guilty of making this mistake though. When it’s cold, you don’t always feel like you’d be sweating a lot, but the truth is we do see a lot of dehydration happening now. During the summer months it’s pretty easy, it’s warm outside and you get thirsty, but during the winter your body’s response isn’t the same and so you might not drink as much. But the fact is that you’re not just losing water when you sweat, you’re also losing vital salts that your body needs. These salts can help prevent cramping up, and prevent you getting headaches from a low potassium level.

What would you recommend that riders take out on the road with them in order to keep hydrated?

I’d suggest taking a large bottle of water, and getting some electrolyte tablets to dissolve into it. These will provide you with the necessary salts to rehydrate yourself properly!

So, hydration is important all year round! What else is important to consider at this time of year?

Right now we’ve seen a lot of rain and chilly weather hitting the riders (I’ve been absolutely drenched on most of my deliveries over the past month), and with that we’ve seen energy levels drop significantly. This is because your body is having to use extra energy just to keep warm! And this again is a simple solution, you just need to up your energy intake before and during being logged in. Take an extra energy bar and gel with you, and make sure they get eaten! On those cold nights, you may not feel like eating or drinking, but it’s a key factor that will improve your riding.

That’s some good tips for whilst riders are logged in! What do riders usually do once they’ve logged out?

I’ve seen pretty much everything, from people going straight to bed with no food, to people going out for a heavy night of drinking!

What should riders be doing to recover once they’ve logged out?

Without going into too much detail here, we will simply look at our 3 Rs of recovery. If you’d like to read more have a look at our head of sports nutrition, Jasmine Campbell’s blog post.
Rehydrate– Rehydrate as much as you can do when logged in. You’ll probably end up still being a bit dehydrated by the end, so drink water slowly over the course of an hour or two, but not so much that it might disrupt your sleep (if it’s the evening!).
Refuel– The best thing to do is to start eating carbohydrates within an hour of logging out. After the first hour your body won’t refuel at the same rate, so it’ll be tricky to get everything you need!
Rebuild– Rebuilding your muscles after a long ride can help prevent any injuries that might stop you working. A pretty big bonus in my opinion! Aim to get about 20g of protein after you log out, from dairy, lean meats, fish, or eggs (soy or pea protein if you don’t eat meat or animal products). This can be coupled in with your carbohydrate intake nicely to give yourself a balanced meal.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us today, Jonathan!