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Nutritional Tips for Cyclists
Publish date: 20/07/2013
Cycling is one of the top endurance sports in the world and cyclists need to be fit all the time. Whether you are cycling to maintain health and fitness or preparing to participate in the prestigious "Tour de France" marathon, you need to focus on your nutrition along with physical fitness.
Nutrition plays an all important role in ensuring that you stay refuelled and energised during your cycling practice. Nutrition along with the right exercises will help you perform as a cyclist and stay fit for a long time to come. But the big question is: What type of nutritional diet should one follow? Are there any magic nutritional tips for cyclists?
Top 5 Nutritional Tips for Cyclists
There are several nutritional diets for cyclists but the diet alone will never be enough. Here are the top 5 nutritional tips for cyclists that will help you stay fit and perform better:
Tip#1: Get a diet plan
You need to start by putting a nutritional diet plan in place and it should be a long-term plan. There are several aspects that should be considered while creating a plan like breakfast, lunch, snacks, weight control, body mass index, type of exercises, and benchmarks to be achieved. You can start with short-term plans and define a goal. On achievement of your short-term nutritional goals, move on to an intermediate or long-term plan.
Tip#2: Carbs and more carbs!
Carbohydrates can add a lot of calories and you need to watch your calories depending on your lifestyle. If you have a low activity lifestyle, then eat less carbohydrates and decrease calories. If you have an active lifestyle, then add 100-300 calories to your daily nutritional diet. Cyclists need to add 0.15 calories per minute/kilogram of their body weight. Remember, your body requires approximately 80 calories per hour to fuel itself.
Tip#3: Protein can do wonders!
As cyclists, you will require only 1.4g of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight every day. No sweat! Important thing to know here is that protein helps the body from burning out during a cycling session and also assists in post-ride recovery. A glass of milkshake is just the drink you need after a workout!
Tip#4: Hydration is a must
The harder you cycle, the more dehydrated your body will become! Hence, proper hydration is a must! According to a study, fluid intake can make cyclists 3.2% quicker as it helps in restoring 50% of sweat loss. Fluid along with electrolytes including 100 mg potassium, 400 mg sodium, 40 mg magnesium, and 80 mg calcium per hour will help cyclists in longer rides.
Tip#5: Supplement with Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids including omega 3, 6, and 9 are absolutely essential. They help in decreasing muscle inflammation and also enhance in the recovery process. Nutritional diet for cyclists should contain hazelnuts, fish oil supplements, prawns, peanuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.
These are some of the important ingredients that are needed in nutritional plans for cyclists. Some of the other types of supplements and ingredients that you can include in your nutritional diet are green tea, fructose and glucose, Bioflavonoids, nitrates, and caffeine.