Nutrition Strategies In Cycling

Because it is a sporting modality where the training and tests have long durations and courses of varying degrees of difficulty and intensity, cycling is considered a sport of great physical and nutritional requirements. The energy and hydration wear are common conditions in practice, which has nutrition as a great ally.

Some cyclists, due to genetic traits, perform better on hard and long climbs, while others have great performance on the plane for long periods of time. There are also super-powerful athletes in explosive arrivals that last no more than 30 seconds, the so-called sprinters or sprinters.

Most cyclists conduct their workouts on the roads or on paved sites with little drive. For elite athletes, distances can vary from 400 to 1000km in the week, depending on the time of year. The workouts are distributed between strength exercises, such as: shots, and long drills with controlled speed. Even for amateur cyclists the training volumes can reach 300km in the week.

As far as nutrition is concerned, performance on tests and training depends on proper hydration with stainless steel water bottles and correct intake of carbohydrates. Severe dehydration can disrupt performance, and wind can disrupt the body’s perception of sweat during activity.

The ingestion of fluids and foods will depend on the intensity of effort, practicality, hunger and ambient temperature conditions. Studies show fluid losses of approximately 300 to 1200ml per hour of cycling practice, and depending on climatic conditions, intensity of effort and individual characteristics of the athlete, these losses may be even greater.Weight control before and after testing and training is crucial so that the rider can know his loss of fluids.

It is important that the needs are guaranteed from the beginning of the training, before hypoglycemia or dehydration is already installed and disrupts the performance in the final stages of the test or training. On the bike, the intake of solid and liquid foods is facilitated.The best option is the consumption of sports drinks, which guarantee the needs of water, sodium and carbohydrate.

How Should Nutrition Be In The Test?

Before the competition – Athletes should consume 8 to 10 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of weight in the 72 hours preceding the event. The pre-competition meal should be high in carbohydrates, such as: cereals, breads, fruits, pasta and potatoes, and should be made 2 to 3 hours before the test, as some cyclists may have gastric discomfort.

Cycling training usually starts very early, but the athlete should never start fasting. The night before dinner should be high in carbohydrates, low in fat and moderate in protein.Good choices are the dishes based pasta, cereal and potato. Breakfast can be the basis of breads, cereals like oats, moderately-fibered fruits (such as bananas). In the intervals before the test you can drink sports drinks, energy bars or small fast energy snacks.

Intake of carbohydrates and fluids during exercise should be planned for workouts lasting more than one hour. Nutrition should meet the needs of 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of training, which should be stored on the bike and in the pockets of the shirt, in the form of drinks or food. In addition to sports drinks, which contain energy and electrolytes, some commonly eaten foods during long trials are sandwiches with sweet and savory fillings, energy bars and gels.

Tips For Road Cycling:

Prioritize carbohydrate intake on the eve of the race, pre-competition meal and during the event;

Moisturize properly before, during and after the tests. The preferred drink should contain carbohydrates, in the proportion of 6 to 8%, and sodium and potassium, electrolytes that are lost in sweat;

Make sure the bottles of water are full on the bike or know when you will find the support to make the replacement of liquids;

The food supply during the race should prioritize food sources of carbohydrates such as sandwiches, bars, gels and sports drinks.

The fluid intake after the test should be equivalent to 150% of the weight lost. For example, the loss of 1 kg implies the intake of 1.5 liter of liquids.

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