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  1. #1
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    Nutrition/Health advice for someone whos never bothered

    I'm going to start riding in a week or so when my bike arrives and I think it would be a good idea to adjust or at least think about my diet to accomodate my new activity. I'm 21, 6" tall, 140-145#s, and I have basically never given a thought to what I eat. I'm a computer programmer, so my work is sedentary and I don't really exercise much at home, although I feel fit and I could likely run a mile in < 7 minutes.

    Are there some good books for cyclists? I plan to ride a road-bike several miles a day (at least 10 on workdays, and maybe twice that on the weekends).

    What is BMI (Body Mass Index) and what does it have to do with cycling? I found a BMI calculator earlier today and it said mine was 19.5. Is that good or bad for cycling? What about health in general?

    My left calf has been on the verge of cramping for about three days now. I got a cramp three days ago but it went away, but now I can feel that I'm still "on the edge". Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Jake Moffatt

  2. #2
    The Question Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
    I'm going to start riding in a week or so when my bike arrives and I think it would be a good idea to adjust or at least think about my diet to accomodate my new activity. I'm 21, 6" tall, 140-145#s, and I have basically never given a thought to what I eat. I'm a computer programmer, so my work is sedentary and I don't really exercise much at home, although I feel fit and I could likely run a mile in < 7 minutes.

    Are there some good books for cyclists? I plan to ride a road-bike several miles a day (at least 10 on workdays, and maybe twice that on the weekends).

    What is BMI (Body Mass Index) and what does it have to do with cycling? I found a BMI calculator earlier today and it said mine was 19.5. Is that good or bad for cycling? What about health in general?

    My left calf has been on the verge of cramping for about three days now. I got a cramp three days ago but it went away, but now I can feel that I'm still "on the edge". Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Jake Moffatt
    Woa, You're quite slim. Do you mean should you be eating more carbs when you say you should change your diet? Cuz it doesn't sound like you eat unhealthily (if that's a word). Have you ever ridden before? If not you're going to have to build up your endurance. For example, unless you run regularly you might get very winded if you tried to run a sub 7 minute mile. It just depends on what physical condition you're in.

  3. #3
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    Start eating some fresh fruit with every meal. Eat green stuff, you know, salad, spinach, a lot of anything green. When you start, ride every other day for a while. This will come naturally (when you're sore), just wanted to give you a heads up. Got shorts and a helmet yet? Good shorts really help. Btw, your butt will hurt for a couple weeks. Happens to everybody. Go to your library and ask them to interlibrary loan
    Effective Cycling. You are about to have dozens of questions, that will answer a lot of them.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

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    Well I dunno if I eat unhealthily because I've never looked into it. I eat lots of candy, sweets, junk food, sodas, meat... some fresh fruit once in a while... I don't really know I just eat whatever I feel like eating. I guess adding some carbs (or rather, focusing on them) would be good once I start getting active again.

    About a 2.1/2 years ago I started a 1 year stindt as a carpet layer. I was VERY active then and I would routinely out-eat anyone I ate with, including the 6.4", 250 pound workhorse guy on our crew. But still I think the heaviest I got during that time was 145 to 149 (probably right after eating 10 tacos!).

    So here I am now, 1.1/2 years later with an office job and a new bike on the way. I suppose once I start riding I'll just naturally start eating more, like I did when I layed carpet. But I want to also start eating *right* which I know I likely haven't been, since I just eat whatever appeals to me at the time, plus I want to aim my diet at helping me to cycle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    make sure to at least eat this everaday

    2 naners
    1 tangelo
    2 apples

    MM. That sounds good.

  6. #6
    The Question Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
    Well I dunno if I eat unhealthily because I've never looked into it. I eat lots of candy, sweets, junk food, sodas, meat... some fresh fruit once in a while... I don't really know I just eat whatever I feel like eating. I guess adding some carbs (or rather, focusing on them) would be good once I start getting active again.

    About a 2.1/2 years ago I started a 1 year stindt as a carpet layer. I was VERY active then and I would routinely out-eat anyone I ate with, including the 6.4", 250 pound workhorse guy on our crew. But still I think the heaviest I got during that time was 145 to 149 (probably right after eating 10 tacos!).

    So here I am now, 1.1/2 years later with an office job and a new bike on the way. I suppose once I start riding I'll just naturally start eating more, like I did when I layed carpet. But I want to also start eating *right* which I know I likely haven't been, since I just eat whatever appeals to me at the time, plus I want to aim my diet at helping me to cycle.
    oh ok so you just must have a fast metabolism. Well obviously cut back on the junk food, candy, and sweets. I'd say for cycling cut back the junk food (I assume this means things like fast food?) the most as candy does have sugar which can be used as energy for riding. Still though I would limit candy as that much sugar can be bad for you (not just your teeth). Adding carbs should help with endurance. I'm still not sure which is better for riding though, wheat or white (pasta, rice, etc.).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
    .

    Are there some good books for cyclists? I plan to ride a road-bike several miles a day (at least 10 on workdays, and maybe twice that on the weekends).

    What about health in general?

    My left calf has been on the verge of cramping for about three days now.
    Thanks,
    Jake Moffatt
    The best dietary resources are Carmichaels Food for Fitness and the new USDA 85 page dietary guide. The USDA guide can be downloaded free (do a Google Search). However, it doesn't deal with athletic requirements. Carmichaels book does while staying consistent with Guidelines. It's also very readible and represents the state of present understanding of how to eat for good health and good fitness.

    Al

  8. #8
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    I like the reccommendation about eating green veggies and fresh fruits. Throw away all junk food and try freshly cooked food. I used to have high metabolism till age caught up with me, so I think I know how your body is. Don't worry too much about fat, but don't indulge in fried and fatty food. Just pay attention to what you eat and you'll do fine. Together with biking specific shorts, get quick dry jersy or quick dry T-shirt to go with it. You'll be more comfortable. Incidentally, apply some skin lotion or vaseline to you hinds where they contact the saddle, and put on the biking shorts. You don't want to put your undy next to your skin. It will feel breezy at first, but you will get use to it. Finally, try to keep your cadence at 80-95 and you'll love pedaling. Cateye has a nice Astral8 for this, but there are other makes and model. Eventually, get an HRM and you are all set.

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