Cyclist Ayesha McGowan does not follow a strict diet, but is very clear about what types of foods she strives to avoid.

“I’ve been playing with that a lot since I’ve been racing and riding,” McGowan, 30, told uSportsexclusively. “I don’t follow a strict particular type of diet in any direction. I usually try to avoid heavier foods and gluten when I race.”

McGowan added that she is lactose intolerant, so she also does not drink milk, although “that’s not a race-specific thing,” she said with a laugh.

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“I also found that Skratch Labs products work very well for me while I’m on the bike, McGowan said of the generally fruity exercise hydration drink mixes “I was having some trouble keeping my food down while I was racing.”

Skratch Labs contain less sugar and artificial sweeteners and more sodium, and are thus healthier than other popular sports drinks that can sometimes make athletes sick to their stomachs.

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Finally, McGowan noted that she often tries to leave a certain amount of time between meals and races.

“I do try not to eat less than three hours before races, sometimes five, depending on how intense the race is going to be.”

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