In cycling, there are many categories of bike and race; hence different kinds of cyclists need different fuel to provide them different degree energy in their races. For example, it is not same from short distance cyclists and long distance cyclists because long distance cycling requires more physical energy and you have to get more nutrition from your daily food to support your route. However, it is not correct that more food you eat can show more effects. If you don’t balance your body and what you eat, it may cause the waste of nutrition, even stomach trouble.
Before you start your food plan to fuel your long distance cycling, you should know several general principles first.
Eat more natural, unprocessed food including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, nuts, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.
You should try to consume about 60% of your calories from carbohydrates, 25% from healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and raw nuts and seeds, and 15% from lean proteins.
Hydration is very important and you should drink plenty of water in a day.
So how much nutrition should a long-distance cyclist get and what food plan should they make for their ultra-distance riding? Here are several recommends food and intake of before and after your long distance cycling. You can make your plan according to the following.
The food you choose to have before you exercise can do different effect on your performance. If you plan a long distance ride, make sure your foods can provide the fuel you need for endurance and energy.
In the week before your cycling plan, there are some strategies that you can employ in order to ensure you are properly fuelled and prepared. Carbohydrate is the most common material in our body. But it is also something that cyclists should be cautious of. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise, but few athletes understand the reason for this data. The average person can process, or oxidize, only about 1 gram of carbohydrate per minute, no matter how much is consumed.
Generally, the food we eat is converted into glucose (blood sugar), which can provide the fuel for the body’s energy. Energy-containing foods are now classed by their position on the glycemic index (GI). The study explained that the higher the GI, the quicker blood glucose levels rise and the carbohydrate is rapidly digested so that their glucose is quickly fed into the blood stream. It has the highest glycemic index at this moment (high GI food score over 70). High carbohydrate foods like pasta and bread can’t be eaten during a race since they can’t digest so quickly enough to be converted to energy in the time you need it.
In addition, you can try to maximize your muscle glycogen in the days up to your event, but there is a limit on how much you can store. So you should avoid intake too much carbohydrate as this will make you feel very bloated and sluggish, even stomach problem, which is you will never want for event day! In the week before your long distance plan, you can aim for a ‘carb enriched’ diet, in which carb is about 10-15% more than you usually eat. Some cyclists recommend that The Etixx Energy Load can be a part of the diet plan because it not only contains 66g of carbohydrate per serving but also vitamins B1 and B2 to assist in energy production and help you reduce fatigue. It is a great way to maximize your glycogen stores by drinking The Etixx Energy Load which can ensure you are getting in enough carbohydrate.
When you prepare your long rides, you should also consider the mineral below.
Magnesium plays an important role in muscle function. If your body is short of magnesium may cause structural damage to muscle cells. The Etixx Magnesium Absorption + can help regulate muscle contraction and prevent electrolyte imbalances once a day.
Iron is vital mineral which is used for the transport of oxygen in the blood and also influence the endurance performance. The deficiencies of iron are common in women and vegetarians. Therefore, a daily supplement is important to boost iron levels and optimize performance.
After a long distance cycling, you must deplete energy store and trigger production of the stress hormone cortisol. You have to fuel yourself or you will be very tired. Though carbs will restock glycogen, you have to supply protein to your recovery. Usually, a 4: 1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is a general guideline for post-ultradistance riding. In order to build your muscle, you need a mix of whey and casein and the combination helps prolong the process. Some cyclists who end a long distance riding said mixing milk, whey protein powder, and dark cocoa powder with a shot of espresso can be useful for your recovery. Caffeine can speed your metabolism. Or blend low-fat yogurt and honey and wash it down with green tea.
The Etixx Recovery Shake can be another way to recover your energy as soon as possible. This way is easy to make and they are usually mixed with water. After an ultra-distance, you can also mix they with milk instead to provide your body with extra calories and protein to help your recovery. But you should know that the recovery should not stop before the proper refuel and recover have been enough.
The nutrition is different individually. You should realize what you really need. You can also eat some high-energy foods, like sweet potatoes, eggs, chocolate milk, etc. But no matter what food you choose, just make sure this process should contain carbohydrates for muscle glycogen replenishment and protein for muscle growth and repair. For example, you can also eat a large jacket potato with grilled chicken breast and leafy greens. Vegetables are also very important for your recovery because they can provide a lot of essential vitamins and minerals when your immune system is the time that is weak. One of the most important things is to drink more water. You should have a conscious to drink water frequently in the hours after your event.