Every cyclist dream to win any of the five monuments Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia races or the grand tours, the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
To possess any of the crowns the biggest challenge for a cyclist is, to be considerate about the three F’s. Fatigue (low energy), Fuel (right amount of calories), and Focus (no distraction). To avoid the first two, they need to choose the right kind of food in right proportion.
As they say “Excess of everything is bad”, so does lack of anything. Consuming calories less than requirement results in weakness, fatigue and poor performance. Lethal for a cyclist’s career. Healthy and correct proportions of calories help them build endurance and strength.
The third F Focus is all about being energetic and fresh. There will be hardly any chance to lose the focus. For peak performance they need to create the balance, it is not a matter of a single day, it’s adopting a regime for a lifetime, to win and to succeed over others.
Balance is everything
The world is all about balance. The world of cyclists can’t remain unaffected from this. The relentless hills, cobbled sections demands jostling self into the bunch of enthusiastic participants, who will never leave a chance for you to come one step ahead of you.
Right Nutrition Support: The Game Changer
Nutrition requirement for cyclists is different from regular RDA. The strenuous training schedule, use of sheer muscle power to finish the fascinating race can be ensured only by the right nutrition support.
The quality, as well as the quantity of macros(Carbs/fat/protein) and micros(vitamins and minerals), are the determinants of best suitable meals for cyclists. Metabolic profile, training stage, and schedule of the sport decide the amount of carbohydrate needed. Well, balanced ratio of plant and animal based protein is also crucial when it comes to enzymes and hormonal balance, either during the training period or on a show day. The most critical thing in protein intake is the nitrogen balance. For sufficient muscle building, a positive nitrogen balance is supreme.
The Fitness Mantra
To get the best of your potential the basic and classic approach is the best. The twist comes when it comes to the difference between track cyclists and road cyclists. The significant difference is about the caloric requirements of both. The contrast is all about the distance and sprints. Yes, tracks are shorter. As documented by the American Dietetic Association, track cyclists has almost similar nutrition levels, as strength and power athletes. They burn around 7.3Kcal per pound, but the duration of riding is a bit less than road cyclists.
Always start with the primary plan of calorie distribution. 50-65% from carbohydrates(most of them should be complex) can be stretched up to 75% during 24hr races, to fulfil the protein needs do not cross the red line of 2.0gm/kg of body weight, by regular diet. Without supplementation (sources like whey, soy, casein), stick to around 1.2 to 1.7g/kg of protein. Fats can be ingested up to 20-35% of total daily calorie intake.
P.S. Do not forget to stay hydrated.