Cycling Nutrition Guide
Cyclists are some of the fittest athletes on earth. They certainly have some of the best levels of endurance and stamina which are fed from the carbohydrates held in the body, which keep muscle-glycogen concentrations elevated. This relationship with carbs is the most important thing to keep in mind when you are developing your personal nutritional plan for cycling.
If you want to improve your cycling performance, then you need to understand that there is no miracle pill or quick fix, but there are some simple things you can do with both your diet and additional sports supplementation.
Supplementation for cyclist recovery
Focusing on good cycling nutrition can have a significant impact on your performance both in training and competition. It is therefore very important that cyclists focus on the food and nutritional supplements that they consume following a race or cycling training session. If you fail to replenish the nutrients that your body has used up, you may struggle later on to maintain a high pace during your next outing. Not only that, but your muscles will fail to recover properly and you may feel fatigued.
Key cycling nutrition
The key nutrients for cyclists are protein and carbohydrates. These nutrients will cover most of what you need for both sprint and distance work on the road. It’s useful to remember that you will need to consume large amounts of protein and carbohydrates following exercise, as your glycogen levels will be at the lowest at this time.
You should look for sports supplements that contain both protein and carbohydrates for this purpose. There are many available on the market that are focused on recovery, so look for these specifically. They should also contain a number of other very important ingredients, which will give your body what it needs to recover quickly. They also help to repair any muscle and soft tissue damage that was caused during an intense cycling session.
Increasing your cycling endurance
There are ways that you can use nutrition to increase your cycling endurance. There are also supplements that you can use which will deliver more oxygen and energy directly to your muscles, and which can also help to delay the build-up of lactic acid.
One of the best of these is ATP, adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the form of energy your muscles use, and it fuels most processes in the body.
There are studies showing that 14 days of supplementation with ATP has led to significant improvements in muscle endurance. While you should find what works for you, as a rough guide you could consider taking between 250 and 500 mg in divided doses, and on an empty stomach.
General diet guidelines for cyclists
To perform at their best cyclists need to pay particular attention to their diet.
Always ensure that you are getting the required amount of protein needed each day, especially if you are on the bike for hours at a time. You also need to replace the vitamins and minerals lost during cycling sessions so should consider taking a good multivitamin.
Endurance cyclists can be in the saddle for hours, so having sports supplements in the form of energy bars, gels and sports drinks on hand is a very good idea.
You can drink energy shakes, eat meal replacement bars and protein snacks while you are cycling. These will keep your energy levels topped-up and help you to perform at your best.
As long as you remember some of the nutritional tips included in this short guide, you should be better placed to achieve your cycling and fitness goals.
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