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Nutritional Questions(4 posts)

Nutritional QuestionsYellowlab
Oct 25, 2001 5:16 PM
Hi all-

Love the site as I am new to cycling and I am really enjoying the riding so far. i am just starting out but I have logged 85 miles in my first week on a bike. Other than the backside feeling like i spent some time in prison i feel pretty good.

A little background to my questions. I am 6'4 and weigh about 213. I wanted to know if you had any nutritional secrets or could point somewhere to find a plan to lose weight while I build my aerobic base over the winter other than < calories in then go out. My ideal weight for me would be around 190 and I wanted to know if there are any specific nutritional plans that you follow.

Also is there any specifics you follow about what you eat and how long before you eat before a ride? So far I have days where I felt like I could go double distance on my working days and I have days on my spinning days where I feel like I have no juice at all to keep going?

I'm just a rook for sure but I am enjoying riding and reading all that you have to offer and it has been much so far.

Thanks in advance for your repsonse.
re: Nutritional QuestionsColuber
Oct 25, 2001 7:02 PM
I don't claim to be a nutrition expert, and I don't really pay that much attention to it, but when I go riding for long distances (like 60-100 mi) I like to take along (in addition to the always essential water) an energy bar or two, a bottle of milk, a bottle of orange juice, and a banana or something. Energy bars have lots of carbs and stuff (what stuff depends on what kind) which is nice... the milk is a good source of protein (and doesnt actually go bad as fast as people think it does, it's really okay for at least 8 hours unrefridgerated if you have at least a pint of it together) and actually has a good bit of sodium too, plus calcium, both of which you lose when you sweat. Potassium in bananas is also good for the same reason. I really hate sports drinks like gatorade and such, and I really like milk, so there's an aspect of that too. Plus milk and orange juice are more substantial than gatorade. I'm told that milk and orange juice are supposedly not a particularly easily digestible combination or something, but it's never bothered me. It's surprising how much a swig of each helps me get back with it if I'm starting to fade a bit. And calories in liquid form are nice when you're riding because you get extra hydration too, and I tend to forget to drink often. I vastly prefer actual food to sports drinks and highly processed sports bars, and I have a small cooler that attaches directly to a bike rack, so it's no sweat to carry actual food if I'm going to be out for a long time.
Weight loss and eating to rideKerry Irons
Oct 26, 2001 4:19 AM
Two separate questions - losing weight and eating right before a ride.

To lose weight, eat less than you burn. Easy to say, harder to do. The common sense guidance of 50-60% carbs, and 20-30% fat & protein (each) with the carbs coming from an emphasis on whole grains, actual fruit, and "whole" vegetables, the fat coming from "good" sources like lean meats, fish, and seeds/nuts, and the protein likewise. Simple stuff that many people just don't seem to do and then go looking for a magic ingredient to counteract their steady diet of fast food and chips.

Two "tricks" beyond this for weight loss are to eat more, smaller meals and to go to bed hungry. Eating less but more frequently keeps your blood sugar more steady and so less likely to go into "fat storage" mode when your blood sugar peaks after a large meal. How hungry you want to be before bed time depends on how fast you want to lose weight. Going to bed hungry insures that your body is getting much of its energy from fat during several hours a day, and it also nearly insures that you will run a calorie deficit for the day. If you're hungry when you go to bed, it means your in calorie deficit for 10-12 hours per day!

It's too early for your body to have adapted to regular cyling activity, so some of this "felt great yesterday, feel flat today" is just your body getting used to the exercise. However, a light snack an hour or two before your exercisse sessions should help prevent any real low feelings. What and how much to snack depends a lot on what you like, what agrees with you, and what your level of exercise is. But snacks like dried or fresh fruit, fresh vegies, and seeds/nuts all work pretty well and are much better at keeping your energy level even than a candy bar or chips.
Kerry's rightpeloton
Oct 27, 2001 7:52 AM
There aren't any real secrets to diet. The trick is to just make quality selections in your food choices and watch your caloric intake vs. expenditure. Kerry's suggestion of eating more but smaller meals is a great one. Your blood sugar isn't spiked as much with a smaller meal, so less calories are converted to fat. Your body can also more efficiently metabolize these smaller meals into liver gylcogen stores, so you are less likely to feel run down from depleted energy stores.

I would think though that 20-30 of calories from protein is a little high though. !5% of calories from protein is probably adequate for anyone, and about 65% from carbs, and 20% from lipids. The reason that I say this is because in order to bind amino acids (protein's building blocks) to actin and myosin in the muscle tissue you need testosterone to bind it there. There isn't enough testosterone in your body to bind excessive amounts of aminos, so the protein then gets metabolized for fuel. Too much protein for fuel can make you ketonic (a raise in acidity in the blood) which is hard on your kidneys, and protein uses a lot of energy in the metabolization process of gylconeogenesis, so it's pretty inefficient as fuel.

Aside from that, just staying away from the candy and beer (damn!) works pretty well too. Lance says that he loses 2 kilos almost instantly when he cuts out the Shiner bock in the off season.