Eating for Cycling
43“In the beginning of the week lots of vegetables and at the end of the week plenty of spaghetti.” Sven Nijs, Cyclocross sensation, on eating prior to World’s
Of any topic in this blog that causes a stew, the science of nutrition stirs with a big spoon. Every week a new diet is announced promising the wonder cure toward weight management. Using my personal recipe for superior slimness and outlandish energy, someone may be offended and others would starve. I believe good nutrition is a very personal menu decided by intelligent trial and error and with the support of 44experts. We are all distinct little chemical factories, and my formula won’t work for anyone else quite the same.
Often the so-called principles of a healthy diet are contradicted with the “rules” rewritten by the latest “study.” The research is conflicting and one concludes too many cooks spoil the soup. It would be a whole lot simpler if there were an immortalizing ideal nutrient or menu, but there isn’t and so we must carry on searching for the selections which best suits us.
Pasta used to be cycling’s ambrosia, but processed flour opponents can’t use it and some claim it imperils immunity. So no food recommendations here, instead, a strong urging to do your research, seek wise advice, and make your own conclusions. There is some common knowledge on the topic of timing. Your meals off the bike should be taken at intervals suited to an endurance athlete, considering 45pre- and post-race timing. Composition of meals is also a unique and dynamic percentage of protein, carbohydrate, and fat depending again on timing. There are reams of research on carbohydrate as an ergogenic/performance-enhancing substance used in endurance sports like cycling. Lately there’s been some proponents of stronger percentages of protein for ultra-endurance performance but this has yet to be proven beyond anecdotal evidence. Carbs remain the star for cycling.
Eat enjoyable food that brings sustainable energy, with plenty of fresh and fibrous choices led by clean sources of protein and healthy fats, like 46nuts and good oils. Think of yourself as a Ferrari, so fuel up with high octane food so your body can process less and utilize more of what you enjoy.
Prayer for Healthy Diet, Nutritionists
“You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you…All food…can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling.” 47Romans 14:19-21
We are thankful for emerging and traditional research about healthy diet. We confess we sometimes hold a personal choice as a standard for all. We bless our food to nourish our bodies and the hands that prepare it.
Ponder How can I upgrade my diet? Affirm I can eat for energy and pleasure. Watch for racy leanness when you discover your balance between nutrients and enough of a good thing.
43Talking Cycling: Sven Nijs, the Belgian Cyclocross Wizard,” interviewed by Bill Mitchell on January 28, 1999 www.cyclingnews.com
44Experts such as a registered Dietician with endurance sports expertise, a qualified educated nutritionist, your medical doctor, possibly a naturopath, but one willing to research natural products to ensure ingredients are not on the banned substance list.
45“Fueling Performance: Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Cycling Performance,” by Katharine Beals, PhD, RD, FACSM, Division of Nutrition & Department of Family & Preventative Medicine, University of Utah presentation at conference, “Women In Cycling Leadership,” presented by USA Cycling on January 27, 2008 in Colorado Springs. Timing and composition of meals in and around race time is an important consideration and food choice is highly unique per individual.
46Caution: some may be allergic to nuts. See what I mean?
47The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson