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Any sport requires special food care, but there are some that, due to their characteristics, imply that healthy eating habits are of great value. Nutrition in cycling is a good example of how important food is to performance.
Nutrition and cycling
The nutritional aspect in cycling accounts for a good part of the success. It is an activity that, on the one hand, requires very optimal physical conditions, which includes a good diet. On the other hand, it needs great physical wear and tear management mechanism for the body that must be covered with the appropriate nutrients.
Eating well and sports performance are always related and in cycling, this connection is much greater. Sports nutrition includes obtaining carbohydrates and proteins necessary to get on a bicycle, in addition to those nutrients that regulate this activity. That is, the food that is eaten before and after each exercise must be taken into account.
Before deciding what to eat, you have to know when it is advisable to eat. It is advisable that the meal takes place between three and four hours before the cycling event since this is the time necessary for proper digestion to take place and maximum strength to perform the sporting activity with guarantees of success.
The cyclist’s diet
When it comes to competitive cycling, the best choice is to repeat breakfast during the days leading up to the race, as well as on the day of the race. The changes can alter the body and increase the risk that the body will not perform in the best conditions. Repetition generates habit and a good response from the muscles.
Once the meal times have been established, it is time to define the diet. All those natural foods will be welcome. The nutrition of a cyclist must consist of eggs, potatoes, meat, fish, whole grains, legumes, or citrus fruits.
They are products with a high percentage of nutrients and vitamins that strengthen the muscles and physical capacity of the individual. They are very healthy and optimal sources of energy for any athlete, and especially when it comes to a cyclist. The abundant consumption of fruits, vegetables, and vegetables is positive. Although all these foods must be distributed in a balanced way, without falling into excesses; because these are always bad.
Known what the best diet is before getting on a bicycle, then it is worth wondering what foods cyclists should discard. Those ultra-processed products should always be avoided. This is the case of soft drinks, pre-cooked meals, sweets, or alcoholic beverages.
They are foods with high levels of added sugars and fats, in addition to having a very low number of nutrients. These are products that generate fatigue and increase fat levels in the body, which has negative consequences when practicing sports.
Feeding the day of the test
If the cyclist’s diet is important in his routine, the more important the food before the test acquires. In this case, easily digestible foods should be chosen to avoid surprises once the athlete is riding the bike. You should avoid eating in large quantities, as well as sugary drinks, so you have to opt for water and natural juices.
During the hour before the test, the cyclist can consume bananas or sports drinks if he needs energy. And what happens during the sporting activity? The cyclist needs to consume around fifty grams of carbohydrates every hour that he is on a bicycle.
Carbohydrates and fluids
This means drinking twice and eating once for sixty minutes. Regarding liquids, it is advisable to alternate water with isotonic drinks. When it comes to ingesting food, then you have several options like bananas, nuts, or honey.
The goal is to replenish carbohydrates in the body, so prepared carbohydrate bars can also be a good choice. Experts recommend consuming the same nutrients prepared for the day of the competition during a training session, since this way it is possible to know any negative response of the body towards them, in order to find a suitable alternative.
The first food intake after a cycling event is very important and should not be delayed in time. The body has undergone great physical wear and tear and needs to recover as soon as possible. Among the best products for this moment are yogurt, chicken breast or fruit. It is also important to drink water continuously for the hours afterward.
Alcoholic beverages such as beer have a negative effect after the test because they cause dehydration. These foods are not the main meal but are intended to start the recovery process. Subsequently, you should proceed to a large meal that includes those foods described in the diet of a cyclist. That is to say, vegetables, potatoes, eggs, cereals, meat, or fish.