Training Center: Advice from BCSM on using supplements for cycling

I have a question about supplements. I'm a Category 4 racer in my local area and do fairly well, most of the time. But as I consider the move up to Cat. 3, I am thinking about supplementation in my diet — things like Optygen or similar have been suggested. Are there supplements out there that are safe, legal, and effective? If so, can you run through a list of these for us readers to help us make sense out of a lot of advertising jargon about things that are supposed to make us go faster?

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: How cycling could affect bone density

It is not unusual during a full season of racing to hear about a pro cyclist or two breaking a clavicle or other bone in a multi-rider pile-up. But is there something inherent to cycling that increases your risk for developing a break when you hit the pavement hard? A growing body of research indicates that being fit through cycling training alone does not guarantee optimal bone density. Cycling only may be bad for your bones.

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Caffeine and glutamine studies

Dear Monique, Thanks for a great article titled “Feed Your Head.” I have one question though concerning the following statement:Research on caffeine consumption during exercise indicates the 1.5 mg/kg of body weight improves performance.Is that per hour or what time frame? I weigh 87 kg, so is that 130 mg/hr?Thanks,MPCharlotte, NCHi MP,Thanks for your question. While many cyclists and other endurance athletes may consume a moderate caffeine dose about one hour before exercise, consuming some caffeine during exercise, especially in the later part of a long training ride or race is not

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Good brain food

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

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Sweat, salt and fish

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

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Is CLA helpful and necessary?

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

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Are you getting enough iron?

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

Cycling Nutrition with Monique Ryan: Supplements, recovery and caffeine

Carbohydrate supplements Hi, Monique,Thanks for the info you pass along in your articles, they really help in trying to sort through the tons of info that’s out there on sports nutrition. One quick question for you, though: You refer to a "high-carbohydrate supplement" in your article; can you give me one or two examples of a supplement and what amount of carb/kg you would recommend for consumption one hour before training? Thanks.Peter Hi, Peter,Many of these high-carbohydrate supplements can be consumed in the hour before exercise for a handy source of pre-training fuel. They can