today i read in "adventure cyclist" that you should get a gram of protein for every pound of body weight. This for a 150 lb person would require you to consume 4 glasses of milk, one can of tuna and a couple of burgers or chicken breasts during the course of a day. That doesn't sound too difficult. The carbos should be easy if you eat enough pasta, cereal, fruit and vegetables.
Studies show that hard exercise damages muscles, but also that the healing process is what makes them stronger than before. The key to helping them rebuild quickly and improve performance is:
A) Eat carbs and protein as soon as possible after a workout, and
B) Rest between workouts.
This combined approach works best when trying to improve performance. Some people train too much.
Also, there is a "window" of about four hours after exercise during which carbs are stored more efficiently into the muscles; this window is actually "open widest" during the period soonest after exercise. So eat protein and carbs as soon as possible.
And supplements are fine in moderation. But a poor diet with supplements is still a poor diet. Everyone, especially athletes, should try to get as much of their vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. There are many naturally occuring nutrients in them which prevent disease and promote health which we are only beginning to understand. People who take large amounts of supplements may be unbalancing their systems.
A study of the antioxidant, beta carotene, was conducted to test its effectiveness against cancer. Suprisingly, cancer rates increased in those who took beta carotene supplements. It was later discovered that beta carotene, when taken excessively, depletes the body of vitamin e, another cancer-preventing substance. The bottom line is, stay balanced and don't overload on supplements, but eat a variety of foods.
As for fat, some is recommended in the diet of an athlete. Caloric intake of 25% fat out of the total calories eaten is about average. It is suggested that fat is more readily metabolized from fatty foods than from fat stores and that no matter how hard you exercise, you will always need to "burn" a certain amount of fat. So if you don't eat enough fat, your body will have to get it from your fat stores, which may not be released rapidly enough to ensure top performance.
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
The best thing to do on a long ride is go to a bakery somewhere. There's plenty there to boost your carbos, and you can find one in just about any small town. Personally, I find that to be as good as any "power" bar, and much, much cheaper.
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"We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers. My blog. My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.
Well, you probably know that fat and protein are harder for your body to break down. But, you can get all the carb you need from protein, it just takes long. Fat has three times the calorie output that carbs do, and calories is energy, so that is what you really want. So taking all that into account, I like to eat snacks in between meals that have a lot of protein and fat. Because right after breakfast I have to ride to work, so I don't want heavy food sitting in my stomach. But once I'm at work, then I'll eat something protein. By lunch time the protein/fat has had enough time to digest. Lunch I usually eat as a sandwich or something. I don't usually work afternoons so I don't have to worry about riding to work. For my weight training in the afternoon I eat something like a poptart, which has 74 carbs mostly from sugar, which your body can use pretty much immediatly.And always lots of water. I have noticed a difference since I started drinking water on rides and while weight training. My daily(sometimes) ride is usually a couple hours after supper. I eat 1/4 a PB&J and drink some water before I take off, and that usually takes me through the whole thing, and when I get home I eat the rest of the PB&J and drink 2 bottles of water.
Another important part of a diet is Iron. Iron bonds to the oxygen in your lungs and helps your body use it, so if you are Iron deficient then you may not be getting all the oxygen you need. I noticed a huge difference in my endurance when I started taking Iron regularly.