Sports food for cyclists

Nancy Heijnis
4 July 2022
Reading time: 8 minutes

This Friday, July 1, the Tour de France will start again. We are happy to respond to this for all cycling lovers. Are you also on the pedals weekly or are you training for a competition? Then the next question would probably have come by: what is the best sports nutrition for cycling? In this blog we will discuss this question and we will give you a number of tips for our best supplements when cycling.

Nutrition For endurance sports

Just like with other endurance sports, you burn a lot of calories when cycling. This even continues until after your training. Your body therefore needs a lot of energy during a training or competition to keep performing and after training to fully recover. Good food and drink before, during and after a training or competition is of great importance. Just like with other sports, healthy food remains the basis. In addition, additional dietary supplements, such as Sports supplements for endurance sports, you can help you with this.

Healthy food as a basis

Certainly for endurance athletes, as cyclists, it is important to get enough vegetables, fruit, whole -grain products and fats. Think of whole -grain pasta and brown rice, but also meat, legumes, fish, eggs and dairy. These are all sources of carbohydrates or proteins. The carbohydrates help you get enough energy and the proteins in the recovery.  protein shakes can of course also help you with this!

Keep drinking enough

In addition to nutrition, the importance of drinking should also not be underestimated. Drinking too little will certainly not benefit the performance. Therefore, never forget to drink enough water so that you supplement the lost moisture again. In addition to water,  Sports drinks with added minerals (electrolytes) and fast and slow carbohydrates are also a good addition. For example, these are extremely suitable as a supplement for endurance. Take these sports drinks with carbohydrates about 30 to 60 minutes before a competition or training starts, so that you can already bring the glycogen stock up to date.

Our favorite sports supplements for cycling

In addition to good food And drinks there are also various sports supplements suitable for cycling. We list three of our favorite supplements for you. Of course it depends on your goals, training intensity and other food, which nutritional supplement is the best choice for you.

Food for optimum recovery

Our first recommended is the pure whey from Performance Sports Nutrition. This dietary supplement is the ideal choice for optimum recovery, maintenance and growth of the muscles. The pure whey contains a high dose of proteins and, moreover, the proteins are quickly absorbed by the body. This is therefore also very suitable sports nutrition for cyclists! The Pure Whey is available in various flavors and you have to take after a competition or training.

A delicious protein bar for extra energy

also the protein bar by Njie is one of our favorites. This bar is slightly larger and available in five delicious flavors. For example, try the Salty Caramello Cookie or the Hazelnut Caramel. The bars are rich in proteins and fiber and have good energy and nutrition value. These are therefore ideal to take with you when you just need that little extra energy!

A gel for the final sprint

So just before the finish line you can use some extras sugars . The gels are ideal for this. You can easily take this on the way and more importantly: these ensure that you get sugars quickly. This way you immediately get new energy. The Carbosnack Sachets from Nutrend  is particularly suitable for cyclists. The gel is easy to absorb, do not load the digestive tract and also fits easily in your pocket. In short, the ideal snack to go full gas for that final sprint!

What else are suitable for supplements and what exactly does it do?

  • Creatine: Can improve performance during short, intense efforts.
  • BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids): Can reduce muscle breakdown and promote muscle recovery.
  • Caffeine: May improve alertness and stamina.
  • Beta Alanine: May help delay muscle fatigue.
  • L-carnitine: This amino acid helps transport fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they are used as an energy source. Some endurance athletes take L-carnitine supplements to improve endurance, but their effectiveness has not yet been fully proven.
  • Coenzyme Q10: This is a substance involved in energy production in cells. While there is no conclusive evidence that taking CoQ10 supplements improves performance in endurance athletes, it may help reduce fatigue and promote recovery.
  • Iron: Endurance athletes may have an increased risk of iron deficiency due to the high stress on the body. Iron is essential for the oxygen transport capacity of the blood. An iron supplement may be considered if you are deficient, but it is important to have your iron status checked by a doctor before taking supplements.
  • Magnesium: This mineral is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation, energy production and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Some endurance athletes take magnesium supplements to prevent muscle cramps and aid recovery. However, it is important to remember that it is better to optimize dietary intake of magnesium before resorting to supplements.
  • Vitamin D: This vitamin plays a role in muscle function, immune function and bone health. Endurance athletes who have insufficient exposure to sunlight may be deficient in vitamin D. Consult with a doctor to check your vitamin D status and consider a supplement if necessary.

What about carbohydrates exactly?

Carbohydrates play an essential role in endurance sports, as they are the main source of energy during prolonged exercise. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used by the muscles as fuel. Optimizing carbohydrate intake is important to improve performance and reduce fatigue during exercise.

It is generally recommended for endurance athletes to include enough carbohydrates in their diet, both before training and during recovery. Here are some carbohydrate guidelines for endurance athletes:

1. Carbohydrate stores before training: It is important to optimize the glycogen stores (stored carbohydrates) in the muscles and liver before training or competition. This can be achieved by consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal 2-4 hours prior to exercise.

2. Carbohydrates during exercise: During prolonged training or competition, it may be helpful to supplement with carbohydrates to maintain glycogen stores and delay fatigue. This can be done by drinking sports drinks, eating energy bars or taking gels containing carbohydrates. The recommended carbohydrate consumption during exercise varies, but is usually between 30-60 grams per hour, depending on the intensity and duration of the activity.

3. Carbohydrates after exercise: Immediately after exercise, it is important to consume carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores in the muscles as quickly as possible. Combining carbohydrates with protein can further improve recovery.

It is important to note that the optimal carbohydrate intake can vary depending on factors such as the intensity and duration of exercise, individual energy needs and the goal of the workout. It is recommended that you seek advice from a sports dietitian to develop a personalized nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Remember that it is always important to have a healthy and balanced diet as a basis and that supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Consult with a sports dietitian or physician to discuss the specific needs and potential benefits of supplements for your individual situation.

Performance Sports Nutrition - Pure Whey
Pure WheyPerformance Sports Nutrition
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