If you haven't noticed, SoulCycle has taken over the nation. This 45-minute indoor cycling class has brought everyone from normal people to celebrities (including Beyonce) through the studio doors. In order to teach the class, each instructor goes through rigorous training—which means they know more about the bike and how to fuel your body than you probably think.

I had the opportunity to ask one instructor how she fuels her body for a long day of exercise, and how she makes sure she is getting the right amount of everything in order to keep the mind, body, and soul in check. (Special thanks to my girl Katie Lutkowski McGannon for helping a girl out and always killing the game.)

Morning Rides

According to Katie, being a SoulCycle instructor means having an appetite! And a big one at that. Eating enough, hydrating enough, and recovering enough are the absolute most important things we can do to keep the machine that is our body going. Most of Katie's classes are in the morning, so her go-to is any flavor of KIND bar and some espresso. She finds that KIND bars are not too big and not too small and, for her, digest pretty quickly. They don't make her feel super full—which would be the worst when you're about to spin your heart out.

candy, chocolate
Emma Delaney

She also drinks about 3-4 shots of espresso, preferable to any pre-workout. Many pre-workouts make her feel too jittery, she says, which can be distracting when you're trying to be a grounded presence for your riders.

And of course, you can't forget the most important thing... H2O. Always, always, always drink water before you ride! She recommends trying to drink an entire bottle, if not a little more. It will not only wake your digestive system up, but also get the brain going. Your body will be able to do more while you ride, which is the goal.

coffee, espresso, cereal, cappuccino, mocha, relish, chocolate

Evening Rides

If she is teaching a class in the evening, Katie says she has a BIG hearty salad a few hours before class. My personal favorite is the Harvest Bowl from Sweet Green. It's loaded with kale, sweet potatoes, wild rice, goat cheese, almonds, roasted chicken, red pepper flakes for a kick, and a light squeeze of their balsamic vinaigrette. (Sometimes I add spicy broccoli instead of apples to keep it savory.) These ingredients also digest slower so you'll stay fuller for longer.

vegetable, pepper, corn, meat, tomato, parsley, chili
Margaret Ross


As for after the ride, you should always hydrate with another full bottle of water. Sweating is the best during a workout, but sometimes we sweat out stuff our bodies still need. Katie adds a packet of Ultima Electrolytes to her water, which are pre-measured packets containing sodium, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium. It  helps replenish her muscles and has no artificial ingredients. They are also naturally fruit-flavored and non-GMO.

ice, water, splash, cup of water, water cup, water splash, dropping ice
Jocelyn Hsu

Later in the Day...

Sometimes, if Katie has time to kill before the next class but doesn't want to eat too much, she will run to a Starbucks and get some egg white bites. They have a good amount of protein and taste awesome.

#Spoontip: Never wait too long to eat or drink something after you are done sweating it out. After 20 minutes, your body starts to break down muscle protein if you're not getting in all the good stuff.

If she is eating after a late class, however, all bets are off. Katie loves a good sandwich or maybe a Blue Apron meal that has hearty protein, carbs, good fats, and veggies. Anything to feed the beast! At the end of the day, Katie recommends listening to your body. Try different foods and see what works for you. If you are feeling good, you're doing something right!

Max Bartick

Not only did I learn how one instructor uses food as fuel, I also learned there are so many good things to put into your body in order to keep it functioning smoothly. Always listen to your body when you eat, and don't ever forget to DRINK WATER. Now that you know how to fuel your body like a pro, maybe try hopping on a bike. Trust me, it'll change your life. I know it's

changed mine!