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Preparation is everything when it comes to endurance cycling, particularly from a nutrition perspective. For any ride or event that lasts longer than 90 minutes, starting your ride with optimally fuelled muscles is the simplest thing you can do to perform physically for an extended number of hours.
A stimulant capable of improving perfomance, though not banned by the powers that be, caffeine is addictive and readily available. But how much is too much?
For many athletes, the word sugar is synonymous with energy – lollies eaten in a feeding frenzy at the end of a long training ride, the banana before an interval session for a quick energy hit.
Arriving home after a long day and heading straight to the fridge to pour a glass of wine or grab a beer is daily habit of many and while there is nothing wrong with enjoying alcohol in moderation, there may be some side effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
Contrary to popular opinion, you do not need to be an elite athlete to benefit from recovering with the right fuel mix after training.
The rather ironic thing about modern life is that as technology advances and as we busier and busier in our day to day life, we actually need less food, even if you are training for an hour each day.
Choosing and using sports supplements including protein powders, electrolyte drinks, amino acids and recovery formulations can be extremely confusing. Here is your ultimate guide to what is out there, who is best suited for it, and when you should be using it.
Susie Burell looks at some of the most common food habits that could be doing more harm than good for your cycling overall and the easy way to help change them for the better.
Judging by the amount of time that people appear to spend on their mobile phones or ipads, it would make sense that there is more and more technology available to help recreational athletes reach their sports goals. Self-monitoring – whether it is of calorie intake, heart rate or hours of sleep – supports self-regulation, where we use feedback to guide and direct changes in behaviour to facilitate goal attainment.
It may come as a surprise to hear that it can actually be harder to lose that last few kilograms than it is to lose 20 or 30. There are a number of reasons why weight loss becomes more difficult the smaller the amount of weight you want to lose. Firstly and most importantly if you only need to lose three to five kilos, it is likely that you are already eating well and exercising.
With much attention paid to what we should be eating for recovery or in preparation for a big ride, daily meals such as breakfast and lunch can fall by the wayside. While preparation and recovery meals are a crucial component of any cyclist’s nutrition program, if you train in the afternoon or are committed to more than an hour of intense training each day, ensuring that your three to five key meals are nutritionally balanced gives the foundation to a strong nutrition platform.
It may surprise you to hear that the cooler months of the year are actually a great time of the year to focus on weight loss. There are a few reasons for this – not only do things tend to be quiet socially, which allows more time to concentrate on eating well but it is also a great time to get plenty of rest, schedule in extra workouts whilst also getting the physiological benefits of training in lower temperatures (burning more calories).