When should I and will I use sports nutrition? For many cyclists who regularly cycle and ride cyclo's, this is an important question and the answer is not always clear. Everything stands and falls with a healthy and balanced basic diet. After that comes sports nutrition and then any supplements.
An important build-up of sports nutrition during a training or cyclosportive is an essential part in easily reaching the finish / finish line. In the section on physiology, the different energy systems were discussed. For example, it has been explained that humans only have a limited supply of carbohydrates.
When burning fats as an energy source, some carbohydrates will always be used. In addition, it is good to know that the body (on average) only absorbs a maximum of 60 to 70 grams of carbohydrates per hour.
A small case is elaborated below:
Imagine: You are taking part in a 170 km tour and it takes 6 hours. In the first hour you burn 70 grams of carbohydrates by cycling. However, in that hour you only get 50 grams of carbohydrates through sports drinks, energy gel or an energy bar. You then have a deficit of 20 grams of carbohydrates. You cannot top this shortage the next hour (if you continue to drive). After all, your body only absorbs a maximum of 70 grams (and you have used it again in 2 hours) During the entire trip you continue to keep this deficiency. If this happens again the next hour you will get a deficit of 40 grams. With a trip of 5 to 6 hours you can build up a shortage of more than an hour of energy …… And so the man with the hammer comes to look around….
If you prepare the tour well, you can prevent this energy shortage.
For the effort
In this period a distinction must be made between two different moments:
Period of months and weeks before the effort
6-day period for the main goal
In the period of months / weeks, the emphasis is on building the overall condition and speed. Preferably based on a training schedule. There must be enough room in this schedule for recovery. Also use this period to experiment with sports nutrition.
To improve the overall condition you can already make use of sport supplements. Properly recovering the training and practice tours will also ensure that you progress faster. Consider the use of recovery drinks and protein bars.
The period of 6 days for the main goal is characterized by a reduction in the intensity and duration of the training sessions in combination with the 'stacking' of carbohydrates. This is also called 'TAPEREN'. The effect is that your body has stored extra carbohydrates at the end of this period that you can use at the 'moment supreme' ...
Carbohydrates can be stacked by means of so-called carboloader. This is a drink that is composed of almost pure carbohydrates. To get the same amount of carbohydrates in solid food you have to eat many plates of dry pasta ... Maybe his drink isn't that bad yet ...
TIP:Do not drink any sports drinks before the exercise on the day until you start cycling. The fast carbohydrates that you take beforehand cause an increase in your blood sugar level, after which a big dip takes place. You then get very weak legs and you feel lifeless .... Rather take a thirst quencher with only salts and minerals.