Cycling Nutrition & Recovery
Good nutrition for a cyclist is a complex matter. It is the perfect combination of the quality of food they consume, the number of individual nutrients, and last but not least important, it is about the timing of food consumption. Lately, the trend has been that cyclist gets their nutrients through food rather than through vitamin supplement intake.
- Fats are the least useful for the cyclist’s nutrition because they are the most difficult to be burned and transformed into energy, only 324 kcal per hour. Nevertheless, it is a very important macronutrient in the athlete’s diet, especially omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish, and also in avocados, seeds and nuts.
- Protein is the next macronutrient in importance as it is a building block of muscles and cyclists are in great demand of them and need to consume anywhere between 1.7 and even up to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day for professional athletes. Make sure each meal contains plenty of lean protein. This allows your muscles to recover quicker and adapt to the training load.
- Carbohydrates. Now we’re talking, right? Carbs are the most important source of energy for an endurance athlete. To start off with a small comparison, to a possible 324 kcal from the fats extracted in an hour, the body can be fueled with a whopping 800 kcal per hour from protein. The body prefers burning carbs for fuel because they are more ready for consumption, therefore it burns carbohydrates from the food we consumed, then the glycogen stored in our liver and the muscles, and once it depletes those, it attacks the other two sources of energy, protein, and fat. Since an athlete can burn even more than 1000 kcal per hour, all the energy sources are contributing.
Nutrition before, during, and after training sessions or races
Greatly important is when the calories and what kind are consumed.
Before and during the training sessions or races, it is crucial to load on carbohydrates, to keep the glycogen stores at high levels, because they increase endurance and prolong the time to exhaustion (TTE). That can be helped tremendously with the use of various carbohydrate drinks, energy bars, and energy gels. Depending on the intensity and the duration of the exercise, as well as on the personal goal, an athlete may need up to 90gr of carbohydrates per hour during exercise as a mix of 60gr of glucose and 30gr of fructose, as they transport carbs into the bloodstream. Caffeine is usually added to the mix for the same reason.
After the exercise, needs are different, we turn towards the recovery of the body which is the most important part of training. Based on our recovery regime which includes the “after” nutrition depends on how quickly we heal from the sores and bruises and fill up the depleted stores of glycogen and how quickly and how well we can get prepared for the future challenge. That means the diet should be rich in quickly digestible carbohydrates and sufficient protein for the muscles. Specially formulated recovery drinks, recovery bars, protein bars, and nut bars are what is needed. Fluid should be replenished as well which means intake of salts and electrolytes. Massages and pampering are welcome too with special sports creams to ease the tired muscles.
Take a look at our offer
At Velo Deals we have a great selection of various energy bars, drinks, protein shakes, electrolytes, sports creams to stock on and boost your cycling nutrition and recovery time, and overall results.
If you have any questions in regards to purchasing your cycling nutrition and recovery - feel free to contact us and we will be more than ready to assist you!