Do you switch up what you eat during workouts depending on your ride goals, duration and intensity? If not, it’s time to start!
I joined Rapha Cycle Club last week to help teach cyclists how to fuel for specific workouts to maximize performance, increase adaptations, and stay lean. Check out the video to find out my expert nutrition tips on how to best fuel for your cycling workouts!
Here’s the Breakdown on my Fueling Tips:
Top Mistakes for on-the-bike Nutrition
1) Neglecting Hydration
2) Under eating
3) Not considering Demands and Goals of the Ride
Mistake #1: Poor Hydration
Feel Thirsty? If so, you’re likely at 2% below optimal body water, which results in up to an 11% drop in peak power output.
Conscious hydration is necessary to efficiently replenish body water & salt losses to keep the body cool and functioning optimally. Plain water alone does not sufficiently replenish body water losses while exercising, unless exercise is very low intensity with minimal sweating.
Instead, focus on what I call Functional Hydration: drinks that include sodium, electrolytes, and a little sugar to optimize fluid absorption.
Mistake #2: Under Eating on the Bike
Keep in mind that ride duration and intensity (among other factors) determine caloric demands. The harder the ride, the more glycogen depleting it will be. This means you’ll have to consciously fuel with carbohydrates. Conversely, if you are doing an easy, endurance pace ride, it can be counterproductive to fuel with simple sugars like gels and blocks.
Mistake #3: Ignoring the Demands of your Ride
Fueling for your Rides
“It’s not as simple as ‘Calories Burned.’ Understanding how ride intensity, duration, and terrain impact fuel utilization can help you dial in your nutrition & hydration strategy to maximize performance.” – Coach Sofi
Depending on the intensity of the workout among other factors, there will be a percentage of calories coming from fat (no need to replenish) versus calories coming from carbohydrates/glycogen (need to replenish, but not all at once).
Fueling & Hydration Strategy for Three Workouts:
#1 Easy Ride or Long Endurance Ride
Goal: Endurance building, Fat-burning, Metabolic efficiency
Fueling Strategy -> Go To Video Clip @ 33:12min
#2 Short, Hard Ride
Goal: Hit high power, multiple accelerations, finish strong
Fueling Strategy -> Go To Video Clip @ 35:55min
#3 Long, Hard Group Ride or Race
Goal: Multiple accelerations, multiple threshold & anaerobic efforts, finish strong.
Fueling Strategy -> Go To Video Clip @ 38:16min
Have more questions? Reach out to Coach Sofi: coachsofi (at) gmail(dot)com