Why is nutrition essential for endurance cyclng?
To boost your energy levels
For effective recovery
The aim for all riders is to start the ride with fully replenished muscle fuel stores – also known as “glycogen stores”.
Having your usual carbohydrate intake as well as resting
(or performing light training) 24-36 hours before the ride and eating the appropriate
pre-event meal will allow you to achieve this.
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Recovery is most effective when foods that provide a balance of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins + minerals are consumed immediately after,
so that your body’s muscle energy stores are replenished for your next cycling session!
Events that take place over multiple days place a large amount of stress on fuel and fluid reserves.
It is critical to replenish these reserves after/between each ride to ensure you have enough energy to complete the event!
Male Athlete (Target 60-80g Carbohydrates)
Female Athlete (Target 40-50g Carbohydrates)
200g fruit yoghurt* + jam sandwich
200g fruit yoghurt* + cereal bar
200g fruit yoghurt* + cereal bar + 250mL juice
200mL flavoured milk* + cereal bar
200 ml flavoured milk* + cereal bar + banana
750mL sports drink
750-1000mL sports drink
200g fruit yoghurt* + banana
Sports bar* + 500 ml sports drink
200 ml liquid meal* + 1 large banana
200mL liquid meal*
*Indicates a valuable source of protein, vitamins and minerals in addition to carbohydrate
After exercise, glycogen stores (the muscle’s energy source) are fully restored on a high carbohydrate diet. Low carbohydrate diets do not fully replenish glycogen stores; instead they continue to decrease after each exercise session leaving the cyclist with little energy. Therefore, it is very important to have a diet high in carbohydrates to provide the muscles with plenty of energy to cycle long distances without burning out!