Your best food for cycling? It may not be what the pros eat.
Getting through cycling's 'transition season.'
Fueling up once the alarm sounds is critical.
Fluid and energy packaged together appeals to cyclists.
Cyclists rightfully focus their dietary attention on consuming the properfoods in adequate amounts so that they can sustain energy during long trainingrides, and replenish muscle fuel stores and recover nutritionally duringthe season. But you should also consider how your daily food intakeand on-bike nutrition can affect and feed your brain. Just like your heart,your brain is an organ that benefits from optimal nutritional care. Nutritioncan affect brain chemicals, brain cell structure and function and theability of the brain to transmit electrical messages. Though nutritionalneuroscience is
Dear Monique,In your April 25th column (More prepping for long rides), you mentionweighing before and after a ride. Is the weight differential entirely fluidor food in the stomach? Can you say a bit more about this differential?Should riders shoot for some change, no change, under what circumstances?Thanks,JoelHi Joel,The difference between your weight before and after a training riderepresents the amount of sweat that you did not replace with fluid intakeduring the ride. Even losing 2-percent of your body weight, about 3.5 poundsfor a 165-lb. cyclist can decrease your endurance, particularly
Dear Monique,I just finished reading large sections of your book, which I find fantasticand will highly recommend to friends. With regards to supplements, onethat I take, but did not see mentioned is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).Any thoughts on whether this is needed in a reasonably healthy diet? Iam an 80 kg, 46-year-old competitive road racer.Best regards,ChrisHi Chris,At this point there is no reason to add conjugated linoleic acid toa healthy diet or training diet as based on the current research. CLA hasbeen studied fairly extensively, but mostly in animals. In theseanimal
Dear Monique,I have read your interesting and informative article posted on VeloNews.com on 28th march 2007 about EatingRight for Those Long Rides. I have one question relating to the amount of carbohydrate you should consume per hour during your long ride if you have had a pre-ride meal 3-4 hours, 2 hours, or 1 hour before the start of your ride. Do you consume different amounts of carbohydrate per hour during your ride depending on the size and timing of your pre-ride meal> For example, would you consume more per hour of the ride if you have only had a small pre-ride meal 1 hour before you
With the arrival of spring and warmer weather for many North American cyclists, longer weekend rides are an enhanced and improved part of the training plan. While you may be wisely planning on carrying plenty of sports drinks and gels for the ride itself, what you eat in the hours before and the day before the ride can also provide an important nutritional boost. Ideally, any long ride begins with adequate fuel stores, namely muscle glycogen, liver glycogen, and even adequate muscle fat or triglyceride levels. Chances are most all of us are beginning this phase of training with more than
Cyclists in many parts of the country are ready to leave behind long rideson the trainer and eagerly await warmer weather and putting in some qualityroad miles. As you continue to train and prepare for the 2007 season, don’tignore a small, but essential component of your training diet. Adequateiron intake and optimal iron stores are essential to putting in full effortson the bike. Low iron stores can impair athletic performance, and correctingiron deficiency that has led to full blown anemia, can take several monthsto correct, potentially bringing an unwelcome halt to your training andracing
Dear Monique, I am thinking of eliminating sugar from my diet, but can’t find anything to replace my energy drink or gel with, have you come across any products that fit the bill?Soured on Sweets Dear Soured,There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the best types of carbohydrates that should be consumed during exercise with some sports nutrition products promoted as containing “complex carbohydrates” versus the “simple carbohydrates,” often also referred to as sugars. But classifying a carbohydrate as simple or complex really doesn’t provide the complete picture regarding a
In mylast column we discussed proper meal timing around evening training. Many cyclists also train in the early morning hours with little time to eat and drink before heading out on the road. Let’s take a look at some nutritional strategies that address the food and fluid challenges of early morning training. One of the biggest dilemmas confronting morning training is that you wake up in the morning with low liver glycogen stores. A major function of your liver is to maintain a steady level of glucose in the blood. Your liver releases glucose into your bloodstream during exercise and
Dear Monique,I have heard from several people over the years that you should not eat after a certain time before going to sleep, and I am wondering, what if any truth there is to this assertion. In other words, is eating before bed more likely to cause those calories to go “unburned?” Conversely, is exercising after eating more likely to result in calorie burning?Thanks,Steven Dear StevenTo keep it simple, if the calories that you consume at night after dinner are in excess of your energy needs for the day, then yes, those calories are likely to be stored as fat. These are calories that
Your race day nutritional preparation should be specific and well thought out so that when you arrive to the start line you are both optimally fueled and confident that your food and fluid choices are tolerated through the intensity of racing. Depending on the distance of your race, what you eat in the 24 to 48 hours before race day can allow you to maximize the muscle glycogen content of your trained muscles- an important fuel source at any racing intensity. Often referred to as “carbo-loading” this strategy is simply tapering or resting for the race as your training programs dictates and
During the build phase of training, higher intensity and longer workoutsrequire more glycogen for fuel and what you eat the in the few hours beforetraining is essential so that you have adequate fuel to train. This isespecially important when you have two daily training sessions. A perfectlytimed and portioned pre-training meal or snack can replenish fuel depletedfrom a previous training session, provide early morning fuel, and superchargeyou for training later in the day.Metabolically speaking, there are two distinct time periods for pre-trainingmeal timing: 2-4 hours before and 30-60
As your training program progresses to a build phase and your trainingrides increase in time and especially intensity for development of speedand strength, your nutritional requirements also move up a notch. Hardertraining burns more fuel, and the amount of carbohydrate you consume hasa direct impact on your muscle glycogen levels and recovery. Hard trainingdays and heavy training weeks, also require a step-up in your protein intaketo build and repair muscle tissue. Putting it all together nutritionallyduring a build week in your training cycle, means not only consuming adequatecalories,
Depending on your current training cycle, resistance training or weighttraining is often part of the program, while the goals and emphasis ofthe resistance session may progress from an endurance to a power emphasisduring your season. Following specific nutrition guidelines for weighttraining can make the most of these muscle and power building sessions.Hormones in your body, specifically growth hormone, testosterone, insulin,and insulin like growth factor, largely control muscle growth. Nutritioncan very effectively support your efforts to increase lean body mass byaffecting these hormone
As you continue your basic training and prepare for the coming raceseason, you appreciate the importance of matching training with the properamounts of energy, carbohydrate, protein and fats (See "TheFeed Zone: February 16th"). During this training cycle, you canalso focus on types of food choices you consume to provide quality nutritionand variety to your daily and training diet.Daily DietThis is one of the best times of the year to experiment with new foodsand recipes. While you can still keep convenience and time in mind (what’sgood, quick, and easy?), don’t keep falling into the same old
Hi, Monique:What is the best strategy for pre-training fueling in regards to timing and low and higher glycemic index foods? Thanks.DV DV,Often pre-training timing is a product of your work or school and training schedule. Depending on the timing of your workouts, you may decide to eat something two to four hours beforehand, or your schedule may even require that you ingest some fuel in the hour before training. Depending on the timing, you can adjust your food choices and portions. You can also decide if the glycemic index of foods is something that you also want to consider when making