Cycling and nutrition to help improve performance

Cycling and nutrition to help improve performance

Anyone who is related to the world of cycling, be it sports or recreationally, knows the importance of a good diet for cyclists, whether we are going to ride on the road or in the mountains.

To select a suitable diet before riding, nutrition experts who have worked with cyclists of all levels from casual cyclists to Olympians, recommend a series of basic meals or snacks that will greatly help our performance.

Nuts and dried fruits

Why? Recent studies have shown that the consumption of fatty foods before exercise increases the oxidation of fat, that is, it increases the burning of fat during exercise, resulting in a plus in performance and in the body’s metabolic adaptations to aerobic exercise, something of utmost importance in food for cyclists. We must bear in mind that when we refer to fatty foods we are not referring to eating a pork rind or something like that, because saturated fat on the contrary will be detrimental to our performance. An example of healthy vegetable fat is also avocado for example, so you can add it to your diet.

When? Ideal for a long ride with low cardiac intensity, as adding nuts and dried fruits that have a high fat content will help the body use fat as fuel instead of using glycogen (stored carbohydrates) which will serve us best during the ride.

Oats

Why? The large amount of carbohydrates contained in oats makes it a great natural source of energy for cyclists, since eating carbohydrates between 3 and 4 hours before a ride increases our glycogen levels, which means increasing energy reserves. We can combine it with our favorite fruit or with a little protein powder to give it more flavor and obtain a more complete diet.

When? Oats are ideal for more intense workouts or shorter races where our body depends on the oxidation of carbohydrates for energy, which is when we work in the anaerobic zone or rather with a high heart intensity.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Why? In the first place, it has always been known that banana is perfect to avoid cramps due to its high potassium content, it is also an excellent source of calories. On the other hand, strawberries help to recover the muscle and avoid post-exercise muscle pain due to its antioxidant properties. If we combine these two foods we will have a magic potion for proper muscle function.

When? It is an ideal drink for before those intense workouts where the muscle receives a large amount of oxidative stress that can generate a muscle cramp or pain. However, it will never be unnecessary to consume bananas during riding, in this way we will ensure good potassium levels at all times.

Pasta and rice

Why? They are generally the two most used carbohydrates in the diet for professional cyclists when they are in competition, because they are foods with high carbohydrate content with a low glycemic index, so they will deliver us energy in a dose while we are pedaling.

When? Ideal for long rides, where energy consumption must be moderate and constant in order to reach the last kilometers with good energy. Both pasta and rice can be eaten before or after riding; We will consume it later when it is a test of several days where we have to recharge the glycogen levels for the next day.

Fish or meat in combination with vitamin C

Why? The main idea is to consume Iron, since this has a very important role in the transport of oxygen to our muscles and in the oxidation of glucose to convert it into energy. It is advisable to eat foods with Heme Iron (from animals) as they are more easily absorbed by the body; among the most recommended are fish and red meat. To obtain a better absorption we can accompany them with foods high in vitamin C such as citrus.

When? It is not about consuming iron at a specific time, the ideal if you are an athlete of any kind is to maintain a diet with a balanced intake of this mineral to maintain good levels in the blood when exercising.

Remember that there are thousands of foods with the previously mentioned properties, the idea is to maintain a balanced diet with the needs of cyclists. We hope you liked this article and above all that it will be useful for future rides.

 Read Also – Healthy food and physical activity, perfect partner to improve the quality of life.

Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE becomes FitBites Ambassador

jessica-jane-applegate-mbe-becomes-fitbites-ambassador

Jessica-Jane Applegate MBE becomes FitBites Ambassador

Jessica Jane Applegate MBE, International Swimmer, Paralympic Gold Medal Winner, British World Record Holder has become our newest FitBites Ambassador. We are hugely chuffed to say the least! We asked Jessica a series of questions to get to know her a little better;

What motivated you to get into swimming and why do you love it?
My mum taught me to swim when I was very young, I live very close to the sea & rivers & she always said it was an important life skill. I had lots & lots of energy as a child, I got into trouble at school because of this but the more I swam the more energy I used up! Swimming is my space, my place when I can dream about anything, it’s so quiet under the water & I really love that.

How do you mentally prepare for a big competition?
The big competitions are fun & I have to control my excitement more than stress. I find it difficult to keep an ongoing strong mind set for the months of training going into a competition & that’s where I am very lucky & have the full support of my coach, family & friends.

What thoughts raced through your mind as you were presented with your Paralympic medal?
I had only just turned 16 years old when I won Gold in 2012 & I really dont think even I knew what was really happening. To win at any event is amazing but a home games is such an amazing experience. When I won two silvers & a bronze in Rio I was incredibly pleased & proud but the competitive side of me was already planning my training schedule as I wanted Gold like everyone does as that’s the goal we aim for.

FitBites “Bite Back’ project encourages kids to become more active and try a sport. Why would you recommend kids give sport a go?
I recommend everyone to give sport a go & that’s any sport. It’s fantastic for keeping fit & healthy, the more active you are in the day the better you sleep in the evening, it helps you to meet people & become part of a team, it gives you responsibilities & disciplines, it’s great for mental health & my favourite……..the more I exercise the more I can eat 😊

What is your favourite FitBite flavour and why do you like them?
FitBites are awesome! They are the perfect size for a quick & convenient snack, they contain natural ingredients & are full of flavour. My favourite is Orange Maca and Cacao Nibs, it is so zesty & tastes & smells really refreshing.

We look forward to supporting you Jess and seeing you win more of those medals!

Victoria Pendleton’s Diet and Fitness Program

Maca 5 Reasons to Try This Superfood

Maca powder

Maca for a natural energy boost

As part of the radish family, the maca root looks pretty unremarkable, but it’s anything but. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, and is known in South America as Peruvian Ginseng, for its ability to boost energy levels, stamina and even sexual health.

This amazing ingredient is also rich in antioxidants and skin-loving compounds which can help to restore your body’s natural glow and vitality. Here are five great reasons to give  FitBites Maca Mantra a try:

Increased energy levels

They don’t call it Peruvian Ginseng for nothing. This energy boosting root is a potent alternative to caffeine, and can raise energy levels without the dizzying come-down. Lovers of this Peruvian Ginseng report feeling more alert and more focused, with all of that head fuzziness gone.

This amazing supmay also help to improve stamina, which is why so many athletes trust it to help power them through tough training sessions.

Rich in antioxidants

Maca is full of antioxidant compounds, which are essential for helping to rid your body of harmful free radicals. A modern Western diet, stress and fatigue, can lead to a build up of free radicals in your body. When that happens, those free radicals begin to steal electrons from healthy molecules, making your cells unstable. That does damage to your body in all sorts of ways. Antioxidants neutralise those free radicals, and maca is a great source of them.

High in vitamins and minerals

Here are just a few of the nutrients present in maca powder:

Vitamin E — Essential for healthy, glowing skin.

Vitamin A — A powerful antioxidant which also helps to protect your eyesight.

B Vitamins — The best way to keep your energy levels stable and peppy is to take in enough B vitamins. Maca is full of them.

Zinc — Needed for energy metabolism and for making enzyme reactions happen inside your body.

Potassium and phosphorus — Energy boosters? You guessed it. We told you, they call it Peruvian Ginseng.

Sexual health

Alright, this is anecdotal, but there are plenty of reports saying that maca is awesome for boosting libido and sexual health generally. It may even help ease aches, pains, hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause.

Healthy, glowing skin

Having higher energy levels is likely to make your skin look and feel healthier anyway, but thanks to the high amounts of antioxidants and vitamin E in maca powder, supplementing with it regularly can help to restore elasticity and vitality to your skin, especially if taken in conjunction with vitamin D.

Visit the FitBites online shop to get your hands on some maca power.

Make The Most Of Your Yoga Practice

Make The Most of Your Yoga Practice

When we started FitBites in 2014, we did it with the practice of yoga in mind. Our original range including Maca Mantra, Acai Asana and Spirulina Stretch, was a big hit, and even though we’ve grown that passion for a good stretch has stayed with us.

Yoga is great for keeping your muscles and joints toned and active, but it works wonders on your energy levels, too. Depending on the style, yoga can help to get you moving and motivated, or wind you down ready for bed. You’ll get a clear head from yoga, as well, which is great considering how busy most of us are these days.

These are our top tips for getting started and getting the most out of your yoga practice.

Buy a yoga mat

The simplest advice in the world, but a mat is so important. Not just for safety and comfort, but for getting into the zone. When you unroll your mat you’re making a commitment to spend some quality time looking after yourself. The mat is where you focus only on yoga, nothing else.

Try it at home

If you have to commit to a class right off the bat, and that class isn’t what you were hoping for, or they move at a pace which doesn’t suit you, it can be a little off-putting. Joining a yoga class is fantastic later on, and a great way to socialise, but we recommend starting out at home. Choose a few videos and work through them, finding your way into the flow.

We love the selection at YogaTX — fun, challenging, easy to follow along with.

Go until you feel the stretch

When you’re starting out, there’s a tendency to do all you can to match the instructor’s pose exactly, even if it means being painful bent out of shape. Perfect posing is not the point of yoga. Yoga is a self-care exercise, and the right pose is the one which feels good to you. If that means you’re only half as deep into the stretch as the instructor, then that’s where you need to be.

Breathe into movements

Don’t hold your breath, that’s the opposite of what yoga is supposed to be. When we can’t quite get into a certain pose, sometimes we hold our breath and force our bodies into that movement — that’s bad.

Breathe to lengthen out, then exhale as you sink into your pose.

Enjoy yourself

The most important thing to remember with yoga, is to enjoy yourself. This is time you’ve given yourself to take care of your body. It’s 30 minutes to an hour at most, so relax, focus, and enjoy it.

Visit the FitBites online shop to buy the original range, or check out our new flavours.

Virus Performance Gear, Performance Gear For Performance People

Virus Performance Gear for Performance People

With summer comes running, jumping, sled push and the general tendency – of either you or your coach – to get out and go even harder. The weather is warmer, so you’re looser, which is great for mobility, but all of that work mounts up, making muscles sore.

FitBites have teamed up with Virus Performance Gear, and over the coming months, we’ll be sharing articles on all things fitness, to really help you get the most out of your movement, whether you’re a CrossFitter, runner or yoga enthusiast. In this first article, we’ll introduce Virus, and suggest a few FitBites products to pair with particular sports. You fast-twitch athletes, for example, should check out our Push/Pull FitBites – available to buy directly from our shop.

Made For Movement

In the United States, the Virus Performance roster, the V-Team, consists of MMA fighters, powerlifters, motocross riders, obstacle course champions, and CrossFit Games athletes such as Wes Piatt and Kenneth Leverich. Virus is now available in the UK.

“The gear itself is about as tough as performance gear can be.” That’s Adam Turner, director of Virus in the UK, “It’s designed to look good, and made to perform under stress.”

That stress can mean barbells, mud, wood, grass, friction and repetitive motion. Virus gear is competitively priced, and you get what you pay for. It’s made to support you, and to withstand the abuse of extreme sport.

Speaking of extreme sports, our Protein HIIT balls pack 222 calories per pouch, and 9g of dairy-free hemp protein. We love hemp protein.

The range includes compression shorts, leggings, tops and accessories for both men and women.

The Future of Performance Clothing

What if you’ve never tried compression or real performance clothing before? Isn’t it just really tight? Not quite. Every piece of Virus clothing is built with some of the best, most advanced wearable technology in the world. The Coffee Charcoal fabric in its compression gear is infused with recycled coffee grounds, which add a layer of natural, breathable warmth. CoolJade works to cool the skin relative to your body temperature, and Bioceramic fabrics act to increase endurance and boost recovery, as soon as your workout is over.

Hold on, coffee grounds?

That’s right, recycled coffee grounds. Once they’ve been ground into a fine carbon powder – Coffee Charcoal – the coffee grounds can be made to act just like synthetic fibers, only without the embarrassingly large carbon footprint.

As a base layer for warmth, Virus have found that fabrics made with Coffee Charcoal can raise the skin’s surface temperature by 10 degrees fahrenheit, while still wicking away excess moisture. That’s why you’ll find it in their Stay Warm series.

And Bioceramic?

Bioceramic fabrics are infused with compounds which can help to improve circulation. That’s key, because improved circulation means more oxygen and nutrients, which means stronger endurance and faster recovery.

Exploring The Virus Range

The Stay Warm Series

The Stay Warm series is designed to, guess what, help you stay warm, whether that’s because you have some mobility issues, or because you’re training in cold conditions.

How does the technology in the Stay Warm Series work?

There are more than a few things to consider when making performance clothing intended for warmth, but it boils down to: trapping body heat, wicking away sweat, and supporting functional movement. On every Virus tag, you’ll find little symbols like the ones below, indicating which technologies are used in that particular piece.

virus tecnology

The Coffee Charcoal technology we’ve already mentioned is especially useful in the Stay Warm Series, as it helps to retain heat, and wick away moisture.

 The Stay Cool Series

You got it, the Stay Cool Series does the opposite of the Stay Warm Series. The Stay Cool Series garments are designed to uniformly bring your skin temperature down, while wicking away moisture.

How does the technology in the Stay Cool Series Work?

The star in the Stay Cool Series is CoolJade, which is made using recycled jade, a precious stone hailed for its cooling effects. It’s kind to skin, and durable enough to withstand whatever you’re likely to put it through.

The Energy Series

Here, you’ll find various bits of compression gear, infused with the technology we’ve mentioned, and designed to strategically work key areas of your body, to improve circulation. By strategic, we mean that the compression is tapered and focused in particular areas, to encourage flow where you need it the most – it’s not just uniformly tight.

For an added burst, FitBites Baobab Bounce balls come loaded with the natural energy of African baobab. They’re available in boxes of 10 from our online shop.Baobab-Bounce Optimized

All three collections, Stay Warm, Stay Cool and Energy, also make use of Virus X-Form Posture Control Technology. This technology, which is built into the design, keeps your body stable and supported, so that you’re as efficient and as powerful as possible.

What else?

As CrossFitters, you need clothing that’s durable. Virus’s Airflex shorts are designed with the functional fitness athlete in mind. The inseam is shorter to allow for a greater range of motion, and the 4-way stretch technology means that you’re not restricted at all, or at risk of exposing your butt in the bottom of a PB squat. And for you CrossFitters, we recommend our Pre/Post pouch, to power up before those intense WODs, and recover naturally afterwards.

You can browse and buy the entire Virus range online now.