Photo Credit: Instagram @collegenutritionist
There are many things to look out for when maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regardless of whether you’re a cyclist or not. But if you are a cycling enthusiast, then there are a few things you need to know before you even think of going cold turkey on certain foods.
Consuming the right number of calories
The average daily calorie intake for men is 2500 kcal and for women, it is 2000 kcal. A good way for cyclists to work out their calorie intake is to multiply the distance ridden in miles by 50 calories. If you’re hoping to trim down then you can do this by having a calorie deficit of 250 calories a day.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Your carb intake will be dependant on how many miles you cycle a week. It is recommended that for each kilogram you weigh, you should have between 5-9g.
It is only natural that excess carbs are stored as fat in the body. You need to eat your carbs at the right time otherwise it will leave you feeling lethargic.
Protein will help cyclists maintain their health, immune system and recovery process, not to mention it will support tissue maintenance. Increasing your protein intake can help prevent you overeating, keeping your appetite at bay. It is suggested that individuals limit their intake of red and processed meats that are related to a higher cause of disease.
Small amounts are more digestible and it is suggested that you have a little bit of protein with each meal to enhance energy levels.
There are good fats and bad fats. It is essential to choose the right type, as it affects health, performance and weight maintenance.
Good fats reduce inflammation in the body, which is good for asthma and allergy sufferers. Not to mention that it has benefits to the metabolism, which helps with weight loss. If this wasn’t enough, good fats support with reducing bad cholesterol, which makes it an essential part of any diet to help prevent heart disease.
Hydration is key for all cyclists. It will help support better riding and will allow you to have better energy levels whilst and after cycling. It is usually recommended to drink 2 litres of water regardless of sport or not, but cyclists must drink additional fluids to replace any that is lost during riding. Dehydration will drastically affect your performance in cycling.
We know it can be tricky trying to have a varied diet whilst being busy. We have put together a brief guide on what should be consumed and for what reason.
Salmon – Is good for boosting metabolism
Sardine – Good for burning fat
Chicken – Maintaining weight
Mackerel – Eat to build lean muscle
Carrots – Metabolism booster
Sweet Potato – Combats hunger
Red Peppers – Giving metabolism a boost
Cucumber – Managing weight
Beetroot – Burning fat
Potatoes – Keeps hunger at bay
Olive oil – Managing weight
Avocados – Managing weight
Peanut butter – Keeps you fuller for longer
Grains, seeds, pulses and nuts:
Chia seeds – Managing weight
Wholegrain bread and pasta – Keep you fuller for longer
Oats - Keeps you fuller for longer
Lentils – Metabolism booster
Quinoa – Managing weight
Nuts - Keeps you fuller for longer