Cycling with protein and when to consume them for best effects

the-importance-of-proteins-in-cycling-and-when-to-best-consume-them

Cycling with protein and when to consume them for best effects

If you are a cycling fan who wants to start practicing it or you are already a veteran in the world of bicycles, you may already know the importance of good nutrition and how a cyclist can improve performance. But, if we specify a little more, do you know how important protein is in cycling?

Next, we will give a review on what proteins are and why they are important for a cyclist and, in general, for any athlete who is serious about their workouts.

What are proteins?

We will start with a metaphor widely used to define proteins, and it is that it is often said that proteins are the “building blocks” that form muscles, since they are long chains of amino acids linked together to form the tissues of the body, such as muscles.

Precisely for this reason, proteins are essential both for the training, and for the maintenance and repair of damaged muscle tissues, for example, after intense exercise, which brings us to the next important point.

The importance of protein in cycling

Before going any further, I would like to mention that contrary to what most people think nowadays due to the recent fitness craze, protein is not only important or necessary for people who train with weights or for people who they want to gain muscle mass, but they are for any high performance athlete.

While it is true that proteins are closely linked to muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle mass), they are also very useful to accelerate muscle recovery, and that is where they become important for cyclists.

Cycling is an endurance sport, but not only that, it is also a power and strength sport. In fact, it is arguably one of the toughest sports out there today. If you have any doubts about this, you just have to watch the final leg of a race and the consequent struggle to cross the finish line first, and all after hundreds of kilometers pedaling at full capacity.

During a long and intense race, a cyclist suffers great wear and tear, mainly on the muscles of the legs and, to avoid further muscle breakdown and allow damaged tissues to regenerate optimally, it is important to consume protein to achieve better and faster muscle recovery. In this way, he will be able to return to training at full capacity sooner to continue fighting for his goals.

How much protein do I need for cycling?

The WHO (world health organization) recommends an average consumption of 0.8 g of protein per kilo of weight per day for inactive people, but what really determines the adequate consumption of protein in a person is the level of daily physical activity .

Since cycling is an endurance sport, protein consumption must be higher than that of a person who does not perform any type of exercise. Specifically, protein consumption for endurance sports is between 1 and 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of weight per day, which can be a higher consumption (of about 2 g per kilogram of weight) in training periods harder and more intense or in periods of strict diet.

Protein sources

As a general rule, we obtain protein through our diet, with foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs or milk and derived products. But, there are situations in which it can be somewhat difficult to complete the daily protein requirements with food alone, and in these cases we can turn to sports supplements as extra help.

Let’s look at the example of a man weighing 75 kilos, who is in a pre-competition period with very intense training an average of three times a week, and with a consumption of 2 g of protein per kilo of weight per day.

This person should consume about 150 g of protein per day. Do you get an idea how much protein that is? Well, let’s take chicken breast as an example, which has approximately 23 g of protein per 100 g. To reach the 150 g of protein that our 75-kilogram man needs in the pre-competition period, he would need to consume about 650 g of chicken breast a day, which are two of the large whole breasts.

In case you really need it, a protein supplement can make your diet a little more bearable, because it gives you a generous amount of protein quickly and lightly without having to spend time that you may not have in cooking and eating your post-workout meal.

Therefore, if you are a cyclist (regardless of your level or your experience) who trains an average of 2-3 times a week at a high intensity, surely your daily protein requirements will be higher than those of a inactive person, and you will have to pay attention to your daily protein intake to avoid muscle breakdown and accelerate muscle recovery after workouts.

When is it better to consume it?

Have you heard of the anabolic window? Well, it is a period of time just after a training in which our body can increase the assimilation of nutrients due to the increase in blood circulation and the production of anabolic hormones such as testosterone or growth hormone, which can increase muscle protein synthesis to speed recovery after intense training.

Years ago, it was believed that this “anabolic window” lasted for a certain time since the end of training, specifically about 30 minutes, but today it has been discovered that this period of increased protein synthesis can last up to 4-5 hours.

The best way to complete your daily protein intake is to distribute it in small doses between meals throughout the day, always taking into account the pre and post-workout meals to improve performance, which should be rich in carbohydrates (for energy and replenish muscle glycogen stores) and protein (to obtain amino acids and accelerate muscle recovery).

Read Article: Diet, Exercise and the importance of resting in 2021.

Victoria Pendleton’s Diet and Fitness Program

victoria-pendletons-diet-fitness-program

Two-time Olympic gold medal winner, Victoria Pendleton MBE, is arguably one of the most celebrated athletes Great Britain has ever produced. On paper, she’s the epitome of what sportsmen and women dream of, having accomplished a lot of things at such a young age. Today, at 36-years-old, even though she’s retired from the sport of cycling, the native of Stotfold, Bedfordshire still finds ways to compete; this time on a different saddle.

Victoria Pendleton found a new passion in horse racing. Back in March 2015, she announced her intention to become a jockey with the aim of competing at a host of high profile events. Pendleton made her spirited debut five months after, racing and claiming second place in the Betfair Novice Flat Amateur Riders’ Handicap at Ripon Riding Royal Etiquette.

From there, Pendleton’s stock rose. She went under the tutelage of renowned horse trainer and journalist, Paul Nicholls, who also regularly contributes expert tips on Betfair and its extensive coverage of the Grand National among other events. The following year, along with her thoroughbred, Pacha Du Polder competed in other major events such as the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham, where she placed fifth. This, according to her, was “probably the greatest achievement” of her life.

In hindsight, Victoria Pendleton wouldn’t have been able to get this far without proper discipline when it comes to her diet and her training. During Pendleton’s 2014 interview with Poorna Bell of The Huffington Post, she revealed how she regularly eats healthy snacks like almond butter and olives. She also advised readers to chop up carrot sticks and dip them in hummus for another guilt-free snacking option.

Being a vegetarian, Pendleton regularly consumes either homemade muesli or granola bars or mixed fruits with yogurt for breakfast. Lunchtime normally features something like corn thin crackers, avocado, and a few slices of tomato and cheese. For dinner, Pendleton loves making Thai or Indian food heavy with vegetables, as well as other forms of protein. These cuisines also underline savoury flavour profiles.

During her cycling career, Victoria Pendleton wasn’t allowed to run as her trainers advised her against it. It was because the exercise mainly focuses on quad muscles, while running is mainly for hamstrings and calves. Also, her coaches didn’t want her to be at risk of any injury. Now since she’s retired, she puts in a lot of roadwork for cardio, jogging four or five times a week.

In terms of strength and conditioning exercises, Pendleton does body weight and kettlebell training. Her focus is to build much-needed upper body strength in order to endure the rigors of horse racing. She’s also into boxing, which perfectly combines power, speed, and cardio.

All in all, Victoria Pendleton isn’t just one of those retired Olympians who savour life after sport and give up their strict exercise and diet routine. She represents athletes who not just find different passions outside their usual ventures, but also take care of their bodies by eating right and training well. Be sure to visit Fit Bites’ blog section for more lifestyle tips, celebrity features, and healthy recipes.

FitBites Fuel and Recover the Natural Way

welcome-to-fitbites-where-we-fuel-and-recover-the-natural-way

If you’re new to FitBites, welcome! We started making our products in 2014 because of a love for fitness and for healthy, natural foods. We decided early on that we wanted to help out active children’s programmes, too, since we think that getting kids involved in sports is really important for the health of generations to come.

That’s why we donate 10% of our profits to charities and programmes that support this idea – whether for health, social or educational reasons.

So what do we make?

FitBites are really simple. They’re made from fruits, nuts, seeds and some really special ingredients often referred to as ‘superfoods’. We don’t include these superfoods because they’re trendy, though. We include them because we want to pack as much useful nutrition into our condensed little balls of energy as possible.

The spirulina in our Spirulina Stretch ball, for example, is one of the most protein-rich food sources on the planet, at around 60% of its dry weight – that’s more than beef, milk and eggs!

The sweetness in FitBites comes from fruits, like figs and dates, and our Acai Asana ball is rolled in organic cacao powder, which when combined with that sweet fruit, feels pretty special (if we do say so ourselves!)

We started out with FitBites in the yoga community, but actually, they’re perfect for anything from running, to cycling and even newer sports like CrossFit.

We really are passionate about helping people to fuel their workouts the natural way, with foods that are both effective and taste great. We hope that you’ll enjoy eating FitBites as much as we enjoy coming up with the flavour combinations and making them. Our range currently includes:

Spirulina Stretch – Spriulina, almond, apricot and coconut

Maca Mantra – Maca, almonds and coconut

Acai Asana – Acai, cranberry, fig and cacao

With others planned for release very soon.

We’ve also just released our Pre/Post-workout pouch, the first product of its kind, to combine a ball designed for pre-workout, and a ball designed for post-workout, in a single sporty pouch.

The pre-workout ball contains chia seeds, banana, spirulina and guarana. The post-workout ball contains cherry, beetroot, almond, hemp protein and virgin coconut oil.

We have 50 of these awesome pouches to give away, too! All you need to do, is visit our Facebook or Twitter page, like or favourite the post, and then share it.

Until then, stay healthy!