By: Dick Rafoth MD for cycleforums

Pasta has a reputation as THE carbohydrate for athletes.

  • At 23 grams of carbohydrate per 1/2 cup, rice packs more complex carbohydrate than pasta (at 20 grams of carbo per 1/2 cup).
  • For riders struggling to consume enough Calories to replenish fuel stores, 1/2 cup of rice has 110 Calories versus pasta at 99, and potatoes at 68.
  • Plus rice can be blended with milk and eggs to make a Calorie dense pudding that some cyclists carry in plastic bags for a quick snack on the bike.
  • And at 4 cents per 1/2 cup serving, the price is right.

Other advantages of rice include:

  • it is cholesterol free
  • it contains minimal fat and sodium
  • it is readily digestible
  • it is gluten free - which means that it is an alternative for those who are wheat intolerant
  • it is low in fiber (brown rice = 0.2 gram fiber per 1/2 cup vs. 1.5 gram of fiber per 1/2 cup for pasta).

White rice (brown rice minus the bran coat) has almost the same nutrient content as brown rice but even less fiber, and it has a milder flavor. Your decision for one or the other should be based on taste alone.


  • Rice cakes
    • 1 cake = 35 Calories, 7 grams of carbo, 1 gram of protein
  • Arlene's Creamy Rice Pudding
    • 1 cup rice
    • 6 cups hot milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • Place all ingredients in a pot that holds at least 8 cups. Cook over low heat (don't boil) for 1 hour. After cooling to room temperature, refrigerate. Can be mixed with fruits or flavored with cinnamon.
  • Rice Crispie Treats
    • 1/4 cup margarine
    • 10 oz package (about 40) marshmallows
    • 6 cups toasted rice cereal
    • 1 cup raisins or dried fruit (optional)
    • 1/2 cup peanuts or other nuts (optional)
    • Melt butter in saucepan over low heat
    • Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted
    • Remove from the heat
    • Add cereal. Stir until well coated
    • Using a buttered spatula, press mixture into a 13 x 9 inch pan
    • Cut when cool


copyright 2005 - Team David Salon