ESSEN­TIAL GUIDE TO CY­CLING NU­TRI­TION

14 key num­bers that will help you ■ Ride faster ■ Re­cover quicker ■ Lose weight Could your phone re­place your cy­cle com­puter?

Cycling Weekly - - Front Page - Nick Busca

How many times have you set out on the bike and found your­self won­der­ing how many calo­ries your ride is go­ing to burn? The thought is usu­ally ac­com­pa­nied by spec­u­la­tions about whether you’ve eaten enough… or too much… and whether you’re earn­ing the right to an ex­tra piece of cake at the half­way cafe stop.

Once you get home and be­gin your re­cov­ery rou­tine, thoughts tend to drift to­wards pro­tein: how much is your body ac­tu­ally able to syn­the­sise, and do you re­ally need a re­cov­ery shake as well as a de­cent meal?

What fol­lows is a set of handy num­bers and guide­lines that ev­ery cy­clist needs to know in order to max­imise their per­for­mance on the bike. Of course, nu­tri­tion is a com­plex field, and the right eat­ing plan needs to be in­di­vid­u­ally tai­lored to match your spe­cific goals and train­ing load. None­the­less, the fol­low­ing fig­ures will act as use­ful rules of thumb. Eat well and ride strong!

Calo­rie burn while rid­ing: 900kcal per hour

Nine hun­dred per hour is a use­ful guide­line fig­ure for the rate of calo­rie burn for an av­er­agely pro­por­tioned male cy­clist (75kg) rid­ing at a mod­er­ate train­ing pace of around 18mph. Of course, there are sev­eral key vari­ables such as wind and road re­sis­tance to bear in mind.

Mea­sur­ing ef­fort via heart rate or power out­put is more use­ful for train­ing pur­poses — but here are some guide­line fig­ures:

Daily carb in­take: 5-7g per kg body­weight

Ac­cord­ing to Sports Nu­tri­tion for En­durance Ath­letes (3rd edi­tion),

on any given day when you’re plan­ning a mod­er­ate ride — un­der one hour at mod­er­ate in­ten­sity or sev­eral hours at low in­ten­sity — you should con­sume 5-7 grams of carbs per kilo of body­weight.

Nu­tri­tion­ists pre­fer to tai­lor carb in­take for the in­di­vid­ual. “I take into ac­count the in­di­vid­ual, the goal, the train­ing load, the in­ten­si­ties, the train­ing back­ground and cur­rent body­fat level,” says Will Gir­ling, head nu­tri­tion­ist for the One Pro Cy­cling team. “I look at the train­ing pro­gramme over the week, the spe­cific goal — weight main­te­nance, gain or loss — and then I al­lo­cate the calo­ries for the week into days: when they need them more and when less.

“This al­lows for a more ap­pro­pri­ate car­bo­hy­drate and calo­rie pe­ri­odi­s­a­tion, be­cause you don’t need the same amount of calo­ries on a rest day as you do on a day when you ride for four or five hours.”

If the in­ten­sity of the ex­er­cise in­creases, so does the need for en­ergy — the main source be­ing car­bo­hy­drates: six to 10 grams per kilo body­weight per day for heavy train­ing (one to three hours at mod­er­ate to high in­ten­sity). If rid­ing at a mod­er­ate to high pace for more than three hours, you’ll need to in­crease that in­take to eight to 12g per kg body­weight.

The hu­man body ei­ther uses glu­cose, the sim­ple su­gar build­ing blocks of car­bo­hy­drate, or glyco­gen, the stored form of glu­cose, to pro­duce en­ergy and ATP aer­o­bi­cally. At close to your aer­o­bic limit, you are run­ning al­most en­tirely on carbs. What hap­pens once you go anaer­o­bic?

“You can break down car­bo­hy­drates anaer­o­bi­cally [with­out oxy­gen], which forms lac­tate,” says Asker Jeuk­endrup, a sport sci­en­tist who has worked as a con­sul­tant for sev­eral pro cy­cling teams in­clud­ing Lotto-soudal. Lac­tate it­self is an en­ergy source, he ex­plains. “If you form lac­tate

KCAL/HR Burnt while rid­ing CARBS Daily in­take per kg body­weight CARBS per hour while rid­ing

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