SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Everyone knows that cycling is fantastic for our overall fitness and health, but what about nutrition and how it has an impact on cycle training? All the training in the world may not give cyclists the results they are looking for if a good nutritional plan isn't followed. Cycle Stuff Direct, a bicycle and accessories website looks at the importance of nutrition.
Andy Stevens, Cycle Stuff Direct's Cycle Development Manager says, "Every part of the body requires fuel to build, protect and repair itself and a good nutritional plan can make a huge difference in energy levels, endurance and speed."
The quote most cyclists will have heard is, 'Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty and stop when you are full' which is something that Andy thinks works really well. He says, "When waking up in the morning not everyone feels hungry, but it's extremely difficult to cycle any distance on an empty stomach as cyclists need the energy from the calories. By the time the body reacts to hunger it's usually too late and your body will just crash out."
Andy suggests a light but carbohydrate-rich meal, he says, "A good choice is to have a banana and cereal or toast with peanut butter at least an hour before you set off."
If on a ride for less than 2 hours then water is usually adequate, however over 2 hours and your body will need refuelling. Andy recommends energy drinks and gels, he says, "If you are on a particularly long bike ride, energy drinks keep you hydrated and replace electrolytes, while gels will give you the boost and maintenance you need and they are easy to consume so won't get in the way of your ride. There are loads of energy gels around so it's important to test which one works for you, especially before a special event or race."
After finishing a long ride getting hydrated is vital but another thing to think about is glycogen and protein. Glycogen stores will be depleted, and your muscles will be tired with strained muscle fibres. Andy explains, "Your body will replace glycogen better if you eat carbs immediately after your cycling. It's also important to take in some protein within twenty minutes of finishing your ride as this is when your body is most receptive. Maximising recovery is key, and thankfully modern recovery drinks contain optimum levels of electrolytes, carbohydrates and protein in an easily digested form - they're often chocolate flavoured too!"
Everyone's body is different and cyclists should find out what nutrition works for their body. Andy says, "Cyclists should test out what works for them as different rides, whether it's a sportive, race or casual ride, will require different nutrition."
Not only will cycling and eating well improve your fitness, but it will make you feel great overall!
Cycle Stuff Direct is a bicycle clothing and accessories store offering a huge range of sports nutrition including Gatorade, PowerBar and ZipVit. Andy Stevens is Cycle Stuff Direct's Cycle Development Manager who has a keen interest of cycling training and nutrition.
SOURCE Cycle Stuff Direct