Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | February 11, 2010

Cycling Performance Tip #3: Determine Your Pre-Workout Nutritional Needs

 Greetings, I have another quick tip for you today.  To maximize your performance as a cyclist, you must do three things: train hard, eat nutritiously and recover adequately.  Effective nutrition starts with understanding your nutritional needs before a cycling workout or event.  The formula for your pre-workout meal is simple.  You should consume 1.0 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of bodyweight.  For example, a 150 pound cyclist should consume between 150 and 225 carbohydrate grams 2 to 3 hours before a workout.  This should consist of both solid food and fluids, and can include some protein and fat (the fat should be unsaturated). However, be mindful that protein and fat slow the digestive process, which can be a problem because the pre-workout meal should be fully digested before exercise begins, especially if you will be working at a high intensity.  The same goes for fiber.  While a high-fiber diet is desirable, the pre-workout meal should keep fiber to a minimum because it will also slow the digestive process.  

Some nutritious foods include bagels, pasta, rice, cereal (e.g., Cornflakes, Raisin Bran), potatoes, oatmeal, sandwiches (e.g., peanut butter and jelly, turkey, roast beef) and fruits such as bananas and oranges.  In addition, drinks such as orange juice, apple juice and Gatorade provide easily digested carbohydrates as well as fluids for improved hydration.  Some foods to avoid include high fat, high protein and/or low carbohydrate items such as steak, bacon, sausage, hot dogs and tuna fish.  Also, many vegetables, while highly nutritious don’t make for a good pre-event snack because of their high fiber and low calorie counts.  Such foods include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lima beans and spinach.

NEXT POST – February 15, 2010

Cycle Log: Intensity Phase Week 3

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