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Cycling Nutrition(7 posts)

Cycling NutritionJZ
Apr 18, 2001 12:12 AM
I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice on nutrition. I am still fairly new to road biking, but I know that my current "bodybuilding" style diet is not optimal for cycling. Right now I eat very high protein/low carb type meals, and supplement with creatine, pyruvate, and have even been playing with ZMA (andro alternative). Basically I am not looking to lose a lot of weight, but I also don't need any more bulk. With my new cycling training in mind, are there any supplements I should drop or add to my program? I know that I need to up the carbs, but I am really confused about what I should be doing because I have been living such an "anti-carb" life for a long time. I have talked to the guys at my gym, and they have reccomended glutamine and switching to ironman bars or the like. I never know with those guys though, they always seem more interested in comission than anything else. One other thing, can you guys reccomend gels/bars etc that I can try that are easier on the stomach? I am one of those people who feels sick if they eat during exercise... thanks.
re: Cycling NutritionDuane Gran
Apr 18, 2001 3:37 AM
You are right about needing to change your diet. Right now it is quite upside down. The typical advice is to have a diet that consists of about 60-70% carbohydrates, which means eating lots of breads and pastas, for example. I'm reading a book now called the "Sports Nutrion Guidebook" by Nancy Clark. I have a pretty good diet already, but she gives some very practical advice on how you can increase your carbohydrate intake with wise food choices.

Ironically, she discusses the matter of body building and the role of protien. The belief is rampant that athletes in general, but more often bodybuilders, need to overconsume protien. She cites some good studies that show that more carbohydrates actually helps bodybuilders perform better because they have more energy for training. Something to consider.

As far as suppliments, this is an area where everyone needs to experiment to find their personal match. That said, for long and intense riding many cyclists find Cytomax to be a good water bottle suppliment. If you find bars hard to digest while riding, there are many good gels out there. For me, I keep my cost of these items down by bringing a banana and a few fig bars.
great book....jayz
Apr 18, 2001 8:07 AM
i would suggest picking up a book such as Nancy Clark's
there are plenty of things out there that will help you to develop a diet that is geared more towards cycling....
great book....Duane Gran
Apr 20, 2001 4:02 AM
I'm a little confused by your response, but if you know of other books with good nutrition advice, please feel free to list them. Nancy Clark's book is just the first one I have read, so I can't compare it with much. About every cycling book has a chapter on nutrition, but they are often very brief.
Food...Greg Taylor
Apr 18, 2001 6:27 AM
I've had good luck with Clif Shot gels -- easy on the stomach and not bad tasting. Bananas are a staple, as are fig bars.

As far as diet goes, protein is necessary but probably not in the amounts that you are eating for bodybuilding. Think pasta with chicken, and fruit for snacks. That doesn't mean that you give up protein: it is necessary to help the muscle recover from the work that it has done. Eating protein right after a ride has benefits. I've been using Endurox R4 drink after a hard ride, which has a protein element in it, and have had pretty good results. Muscle soreness disappears, making is easier to raise the intensity of my workouts. You would probably get the same benefit from a glass of milk or a lean roast beef sandwich. Flavor-wise, the only acceptable flavor for Endurox is the orange -- the "fruit punch" flavor is nasty.

On the bike, a couple of the guys that I ride with use a mixture of instant iced tea and Countrytime Lemonade -- a 50/50 mix. The tea has caffein and some anti-oxidents, while the lemonade has sugar and some carbos.
Don't get sucked in...Retro
Apr 20, 2001 9:03 AM
There's nothing about cycling that requires a different diet than any other endurance sport. Most supplements probably do no good, certainly not in megadoses (the "studies" supporting their use nearly always come from the people who make them). Bodybuilders notoriously overdo protein, which can cause problems, including a possible higher cancer risk, kidney damage and more.
I haven't read Clark's book, but one thing to be aware of is that this is a very profitable, fad-intensive area: A new miracle diet comes out about a dozen times a year, and since they all involve reducing calories, they all work for some people for a little while. You should get your information from more than one source, and be very skeptical of anything that promises too much.
There's a lot to be said for the proverbial "balanced diet," and if you look at what it's physically possible for your body to use during even a very hard workout, you'll see that you don't need much in the way of supplements. Excess stuff is just excreted or stored as fat.
Don't get sucked in...davieb
Apr 22, 2001 1:48 PM
I agree. Dump everything and start up from a balanced healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Nothing out of a packet contains the nutition of real food. Way too much protien (which you'll get from body building products) can definately give you severe permanent liver damage. I read that it is practically impossible to have too little protien for health because the food we eat in the quantities we do throughout the day provide the 20 or so grams (or whatever it is) we need. Complete protien (there are many amino acids) is important and you get this from a meal containing various food sources. If u don't feel like giving up the protien suppliments at least reduce consumption to 2 or 3 days per week. You shouldn't waste away if you eat well.