How to get the best out of your cycling efforts

Cycling can be tough, especially long training rides, however, with our simple guide we aim to equip even the least experienced of cyclists ready for the big ride!

As some people may already be aware… NUTRITION IS KEY!

An optimal diet is a crucial requisite for success.

First of all… Don’t over-indulge on those calories! Although because you have started to cycle you need to consume more calories, depending on the distance you are cycling, try not to consume more than you need to avoid feeling sluggish. A great way to estimate your additional calorie intake is to multiply the distance travelled in miles by 40-50 calories!

To provide sufficient fuel, foods should be predominantly high in carbohydrates! For a ride under three hours, a high carbohydrate meal the evening before, followed by a high carbohydrate breakfast, will be sufficient to start the ride!

Carbohydrates in the form of pasta, potatoes or rice are really beneficial, but remember not to overload!

Also avoid heavy and hard to digest foods such as red meat, but instead opt for lighter proteins such as chicken, fish or plenty of vegetables rich in protein.

Top tip: steer clear of highly spiced foods

Recipe of the week!  Taken from the British Cycling Federation: Link https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge/nutrition/recipes/evening-meal/article/izn20150612-Penne-with-chicken-and-feta-0

Remember, your active body will also need a few extra helpings of certain nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals to keep you strong on the bike.

Although food choices are key, some of the ones you need most can be hard to get through diet alone, so supplements are a great way to maintain strength!

Vitamin D is a key player in building bones, making and maintaining muscle, and revving metabolism. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are great sources of vitamin D. However, too much vitamin D can produce negative side effects, so we recommend you stay on the safe side by supplementing with doses ranging between 1000 and 5000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

Equally, only about 10 to 20 percent of adults get their recommended 9 servings of fruits and veggies every day – which is where the Vitamin C is. If you lack in this department, we recommend safely taking Vitamin C supplements, 500mg a day is plenty!

Vitamin E is also essential for cyclists. This antioxidant vitamin protects your cells, especially those in your muscles and lungs, which take a beating during intense cycling efforts, and appears to improve lung health as well as breathing capacity at altitude. We recommend eating a handful or two of almonds every day, as about 25 of these nuts delivers more than a third of your daily requirement. Drizzling olive oil on your vegetables, salads and grain dishes, as well as eating eggs, spinach and fortified cereals will help you get the rest! Adults need about 15mg per day.

Lastly, WATER IS KING. Make sure to stay hydrated and at a minimum drink 2-3 litres of fluids a day, whether you’re riding or not. There are plenty of handy tips on how to correctly monitor you’re hydration levels using certain techniques. The British Cycling Federation have all the information that can help, so check it out!

More importantly, with Easter coming up… We have good news for all you cyclists out there!

easter-695096_1280
CHOCOLATE CAN HELP YOU RIDE HARDER!

This is not a joke!

Consumption of a cocoa may help to lower blood pressure, boost blood flow to the muscles and lessen the demands placed on the heart during exercise.

Cocoa contains a range of nutrients that may benefit your performance, including B vitamins, calcium and magnesium, amino acids and a number of other antioxidants. Cocoa also contains caffeine, which is known to improve cycling performance, in part due to a stimulation of fatty acid mobilisation and sparing the body’s limited carbohydrate stores!

You can thank us later!

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