Every cyclist loves to eat, and half of the fun of cycling is in having a built-in excuse to eat in large quantities. What we put into our bodies before and during our rides, however, can have a direct impact on our fatigue resistance. Let’s refresh our memories with a primer on fuel utilization during exercise and the importance of carbohydrates.
Fasted and ‘controlled carbohydrate’ training is getting increasing amounts of attention. There are suggestions that these protocols could even ‘remodel’ muscle in favour of using fat as a fuel. PEZ explores what the scientific evidence says, how pro cycling teams are using these approaches and what we could learn to enhance our performance in practise.
Watching the final crush of Milan San Remo is to view the crescendo of many hours of impressive metabolism. 1000 kilojoule/hour are common place in the racing peloton, and most surely the last hour of M-S-R is way above that value. Those guys are lean and mean. Are You? Look, I’m not saying…
A popular food among cyclists and athletes, oatmeal is likely to be found in most cupboards and hotel rooms across the racing scene this season. A great choice for carbohydrates and one of the more economical quality carbohydrate choices available, and with so many practical uses in the kitchen!
Nothing fits with cycling so much as the post-ride java stop, and that’s probably half the reason many of us get out on group rides to begin with. Caffeine is probably the most common ergogenic aid in use in cycling and the world in general, so it’s time to take a look at the science behind it...
Nothing is worse than meeting “the man with the hammer” in the midst of a ride or a race. An essential part of race-day preparation is pre-race nutrition, and the timing and content of what you eat can have a huge impact on your actual performance. We know that it is essential to keep our fuel supply topped up during the ride, but what should we be eating before heading to the start line?
As the trend towards eating more real foods on the bike grows, I hear more and more questions about eating raw nuts, bars made with bacon and cheese or nut butters while racing or training. Let’s look to clarify why the average bike racer (not extreme ultra endurance events lasting over 15 hours) should not rely on fats as fuel during and immediately prior to competition.
The Tour is won by the best cyclist, and that includes on and off the bike. Eating well and properly is not only good for the morale, but it’s critical in ensuring adequate recovery for another day of hard effort. What do elite cyclists do in terms of eating and energy output over the course of a hard stage race?
How many times have you been exhausted in a race only to see your partner or teammate on the side line screaming and cheering for you; or even a wall of strangers on a climb screaming and motivating you along? Didn’t it give you that EXTRA something? Sometimes that extra something is all you need to bridge the gap, make the break or cross the line first. Can a hit of sugar be that motivator?
As an athlete, your race season is ramping up. Your focus is on performance. Any weight loss you really needed to chip away at should have been achieved by now. It’s the time to keep building, to recover and get stronger, all of which require proper nourishment and carbohydrate intake.
Simple and delicious cycling food: With race season just around the corner, I have visions of plenty of car travel, plane travel, time to and from hotels and host housing in team vehicles. Not to mention idle time resting with the legs up and large bottles of water in hand. So, what’s an athlete to eat between meals in their down time and travel time? Want to change it up a bit this season?
Cycling Nutrition: With “off” season in full swing for many cyclists, the same questions always start pouring in, “how do I lose weight in the off season?” “How can I not gain back weight in the off season?” or “should I stop eating carbs?” The last one always floors me. No you should not stop eating carbs…
Adrenal fatigue can be an underlying cause of the overtraining syndrome, and umbrella term for many causes leading to a decrease in performance and motivation. This week we look at a case study and some things that may be done to maintain adrenal health.
Ever find yourself mid-season or end of season with no excitement for the bike? Ever feel grey, with low libido, extremely tired and struggling to get through a regular day? There may be a culprit you haven’t considered: adrenal fatigue.
One of the joys of cycling and an active lifestyle is a seemingly unstoppable appetite allowing you to eat more calories than you otherwise could. Of course from nourishing foods :). However, some athletes deliberately choose a vegetarian or even a vegan lifestyle, whether by choice or for performance. Can you be a strong athlete with a vegan diet, and what are some considerations?
We put demands on every aspect of our bodies as we pedal and push, break down and build back up, day after day and week after week. To consistently repair itself from this stress, the body requires nourishment from the diet. The more nourished you are the stronger, healthier and more resilient you will be.
Whether you are a weekend warrior or an active racer, if you want to successfully hammer out long back to back big training rides or races, recovery will be an important part of the process! We’ve said it many times on Toolbox, but hard and smart training is just one part of the overall fitness equation – the best riders are those that can recover quickly and fully to hard efforts. What you feed yourself can certainly help to make or break that recovery process.
For amateur cyclists, one of the best reasons for cycling is the big appetite you can satisfy after a big ride. For pros, eating can be just as much a part of the job as the hours on the bike itself. We all know that part of proper recovery involves the right nutrition after a workout, but what factors affect post-exercise appetite and how might it impact recovery and weight control?
Elite cyclists are extremely dedicated to their training plans. Surprisingly enough many of these same athletes don’t treat nutrition with similar importance. However in the big picture the combination of proper training and a sound sports nutrition plan is the key to success. Together they are powerful. Even Radio Shack’s own Chris Horner will admit that switching his Big Mac Combo in for healthier nutrition choices has helped him to rocket up the mountains in 2011!