Fuel Your Body For Cycling Race Season
Now that you’re approaching the racing season your emphasis should be on your performance and if you’ve been working on losing weight you should be at where you want to be right now. Now is the time to continue building on that base so you get stronger and recover faster. This is where you need to pay attention to the proper balance of carbohydrates and protein intake.
Don’t Lose Weight During the Racing Season
Your optimal performance will not be achieved by cutting back on caloric intake. All athletes must fuel their bodies with the proper nutrition if they are going to excel and this is why the higher level of your training and racing will require that you pay even more attention to your macro nutrient intake. Your preparation is a 24 hour activity insuring that you maintain the proper level of glycogen stores. More racing and training will require more carbohydrates and calories.
So as an athlete how do you determine the right amount of carbs, protein and fat you need? If you’re a serious athlete you’ll have to do some calculations but it’s not rocket science. With a little practice you’ll know what this looks like on you plate.
Create a Template
One option is to build several template days that you can use a guide the day before a race and the actual day. This would be like a pre-established nutrition plan that easy to follow and easily repeated.
How to keep this as basic as possible while looking at the simple steps of establishing your bodily needs.
Step 1. Figure out your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate. Knowing this will help determine your calorie requirement depending on the level of your activity. This will give you a good idea of where to begin. You can figure this out on your own by using a body composition scale or a BMR calculator which you can find here.
Step 2. Once you know how much fuel you’ll need i.e. calories you can the calculate your carb and protein requirements. There is a little more leeway for fat and it can help to make up for the difference.
Step 3. The carbohydrate requirement is determined by your activity level and time in hours. A gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories. Depending on the intensity and length of your training the amount of grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight will vary from 5 to 12 grams.
Step 4. It sometimes requires a little bit of testing to come up with the ideal system for a certain athlete. It takes a tremendous amount of training for an athlete to require 12 grams per kilogram of body weight and it is more usual to be in the 5 to 10 gram range. To find out your weight in kilograms just divide you weight in pounds by 2.2 or alternately you can multiple your pound by .4 (that’s 4 tenths).
Many athletes would rather use a formulated workout supplement rather than taking the time to analyze what food sources provide the right amount of protein and carbohydrates. This is a simpler and often more effective than the do-it-yourself method.