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  • The Pelican

    What do you mean the big events are over… they’re only just beginning for us trackies!  Melbourne Cup on Wheels, State Champs, The Austral, Christmas Carnivals… the list goes on.  All the big events!

  • justanotheropinion

    Enlightening, thanks for the article.

  • Drew

    This is a good follow-up to yesterday’s piece on travelling and cycling long distances where nutritian consisted of micro doses of, “too many parmas and beers at the local pubs in the evenings”

    Whatever works I guess.

  • jules

    Good post.I’ve long suspected my wild fluctuations in form are due partly to lax nutrition management. Will give this a go.

  • Good article – I’ve been wondering about how much weight I can allow myself to gain, so the 5/8% rule is useful. By the way, I know that restaurant in the pic, was there earlier this year. Bourg d’Oisans right? Run by some Dutchies.

  • I’m curious about you comment regarding beetroot juice and it taking up to six days for the effect. Most of the anecdotes and studies I’ve seen refer to it being ingested within an hour of exercise.  Could you or someone familiar with this elaborate further?

    • Hi Duane,

      A lot of the early studies of beetroot juice looked at a one-off dose, to be taken about 2.5-3 hours before exercise (it takes this long for the nitrate to be absorbed, re-secreted in your saliva and converted to nitrite, then reabsorbed and further converted to nitric oxide which provides the performance benefit). And in the early studies a single dose appeared to be effective, however like in most areas of research the these studies were done in volunteers who were NOT highly trained athletes. 

      Since then it’s been shown that a one-off dose is not particularly effective in highly trained athletes, probably because they naturally have a higher blood level of nitrite already. So taking beetroot juice for 6 days in a row was proposed (and looks promising) for achieving the same benefit in athletes that a single dose does in non-athletes. For elite (ie. world class) athletes some people believe that any dose of beetroot juice will not be sufficient to achieve a benefit, in which case they might be better off using sodium nitrate as the nitrate source rather than beetroot juice. But there’s still a lot more work to be done before this story reaches its conclusion.

  • Next question that comes to my mind is: What kind of food, especially to boost carb intake, should you be eating prior to a demanding workout? Is it stuff like wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal rice, potatoes? Or are we talking quicker sugars like orange juice, fruits, sportsdrinks etc.?

    And I’m thinking that the intake of this food should be from around 12 to 3 hours prior to the exercise, right?

  • Hi Kasper,

    To be honest it probably doesn’t matter that much – if you’re eating it 10-12 hours before a session it’s going to be stored as glycogen (carbohydrate in your muscles) regardless. If your ride is early morning then it’s looking at what you eat for dinner the night before, and whether you eat a breakfast or a snack before you go out for the ride. So nothing out of the ordinary, but looking at whether or not it’s necessary to have that big bowl of pasta or rice for dinner or not. In some circumstances it will be particularly beneficial (very long or intense rides where the aim is a high quality session), but at other times it’s simply extra calories you don’t need (if the session is low intensity, recovery ride or in fact a rest day).

    The other thing to consider is how those foods fit into your overall diet and whether your getting adequate fibre, proteien, calcium, iron, etc. This will also a bearing on what you choose. If your diet is already adequate and you’re simply adding some extra carbs as a fuel  source (icing on the cake if you like)  then you might be less worried about overall nutritional quality compared to if your diet needs a boost of these nutrients as well as the fuel from the carbs. This obviously comes down to individual diet and preferences, energy budget (how many calories can you afford to eat to meet your body composition goals, etc. – one size certainly doesn’t fit all.

  • Project4cycling

    I’d love to find a book on sports nutrition that the layperson might understand. Can anyone suggest any?

    • Echidna_sg

       Do you want recipes or the science? the AIS “athlete” cookbook series are all good, so is “the feedzone cookbook”… I personally don’t recommend “the athlete’s plate”… 100 pages of psuedo science and poor recipes for people who are trying to maximize performance rather than trying to lose weight (i.e. those overweight, new to the sport Mamil types).


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