Hi Monique;As an active cyclist and sometimes runner, I love reading your magazinecolumn. Your nutritional advice has proven very useful.My stomach is my dilemma. During the work week, I usually exercise earlyin the morning (pre-work) then I eat a sensible breakfast (banana/OJ/yogurtsmoothie), lunch (apple/pear/ham or turkey sandwich) and am able to makeit through the day. Unfortunately, when I get home at about 6 p.m., I immediatelygrab a snack, followed by a larger than should be allowed dinner, followedby desert (and a nice serving of guilt as an aperitif).When I commute, the evening
Dear Monique;I have read that you should drink only water with gels. In the past, I’ve taken gels with Gatorade or R4 on the bike and have quite often developed stomach cramps on the run. Why is this? Are there other foods that shouldn’t be ingested with sports drinks while training and racing? Thanks, -- MikeDear Mike;Sports drinks are formulated to provide just the right balance of both carbohydrate and fluid when you are exercising. When you add gels to the mix, the additional carbohydrate can prolong the amount of time it takes for the mix of gel and sports drinks to empty from your
I’m a curious person. I raced my bike quite successfully after my two kids went to kindergarten and I no longer had to hire a sitter just so I could sneak out and train. Women in the peloton are always amazed to find out that I have a white-collar high stress day job, two special needs boys, and still manage to get by as a Cat. 2. But I know I’m hardly alone.
On the podium of a mountain bike race a couple years ago the woman in third place tried to say something smug to my friend and I who were first and second. “Well I have to go home now to my husband, job, and 3 kids.” We laughed. As if!
Dear Monique;What's the deal with muscle cramps? I'm suddenly getting them in my calves after about an hour or two of riding. Is it simply a matter of hydration or is electrolyte balance more important?
I usually only drink water on rides and take gels for energy. I didn't get cramps in the early season when the rides were just as long (though maybe not as hard).
By the way, thanks for taking time to answer readers' questions. I know you can't get to all of them, but it is very cool of you to take time out to do this for all of us who love cycling.
Have a great one,Eric
Hi EricSorry to
Hey Monique;As a nutritionist you will probably shriek in anguish, but I’m a fast (in my dreams) recreational cyclist who for the past two months has been following the Atkins nutritional method. The positive news is that I have dropped 17 pounds. However, as spring approaches and I start doing longer rides, I am concerned whether I will be visiting bonk-land more often with my reduced-carb approach.
Currently, I am consuming about 40 to 50 grams of carbs a day and ride 3 to 4 times a week (50 to 200 miles a week depending on the time of year).
Is there a general rule of thumb of how many
Dear Monique;I had a question about Recommended Dietary Allowances. For instanceis there an RDA for the number of saturated fat grams? However, nutritionistsalways seem to preach a low fat diet, low in saturated fat. So is therea maximum amount of fat which I should always strive to stay under?RB
Dear RB;The recommendations for prevention of heart disease is to keep totalfat under 35% (15 to 30% is recommended) of total calories, but most importantlyto keep saturated fat and trans fat (hydrogenated oils) low. Persons atrisk for heart disease should keep these fats at less than 7-percent
Dear Monique;Just recently I've been told (tested) that I have high cholesterol (279), HDL's are good, LDL's and triglycerides are bad and all liver and kidney functions are normal.
I am 30 years old and weigh 154 at 5'6". In the last year I've changed my diet significantly (cut out the probably around 90 percent of my meat intake, except for fish which has increased) increased the fibers and veggies and have also upped the miles and training. Physically I am feeling the best I've felt this early in a season in years. My cholesterol since my last test (267) has gone up given the above
Dear Monique;During the winter, I usually take about 3-6 weeks off the bike andwork out strictly with weights. I generally supplement with creatine, protein,glucosamine, and some ephedra product. I strictly use ephedra for energyin the gym. I have tried various ephedra containing products. I take one30 minutes before hitting the weights and have found that it makes a hugedifference in my lifting.
Recently I have been on the trainer everyday due to the weather. I triedsome ephedra and noticed that I maintain about 7 to 10 beats per minutehigher heart rate without any more perceived effort. Is
Dear Ms. Ryan;I have been experiencing severe headaches after riding (usually abouttwo to 2.5 hours; 45 miles). I believe that it has some connection to fluidloss. I was interested in your recent response to a triathlete who mentionedsalt depletion- could my problem be similar? I drink a reasonable amountduring my ride. Can you suggest a solution? Thanks very much for your help.I enjoy your column. -- GBDear GB;You should focus on a number of strategies, including focusing onhydration, maintaining blood glucose levels, and normal sodium levels.Sodium depletion is most likely to occur in
Dear MoniqueLast triathlon season I struggled with dehydration and found that sodium tablets were the only thing that helped me during my long runs (2+ hours).I am training for an Ironman now and want to experiment with different electrolyte tablets. I was surprised to find that most do not have sodium. What do you recommend taking then? Which is more important- electrolytes or sodium? Or should I stick with an electrolyte tablet with sodium?Thank you.AB
Dear AB;It is always difficult for triathletes (and other endurance athletes) to keep up with their fluid losses and chances are that you