The importance of eating well before and during the race

For cyclists, nutrition is as important as training. And the fact is that, no matter how much we have prepared physically for a race or cycling tour, if we fail with food, we may find that the work and the hours spent are not worth much.

1. Nutrition before a race or cycling tour

Often, we do not take it into account, but the pre-race nutrition starts two or three days before the race, not just the breakfast of the day in question. At this time, the most important thing is to consume carbohydrates since they will be the main fuel that our body will use to produce energy and we must have good reserves. Thus, the recommendation is to start two or three days before the cycling tour to make an extra contribution of carbohydrates that can be given in the form of pasta, bread, rice, cereals ….

Just like the days before, the day of the race itself, it is key to have a good intake of carbohydrates. It will be important to eat between 2 and 3 hours before the start of the trial to respect the digestion time and avoid feeling heavy. In addition, the body will notice this extra supply of carbohydrates to start using them during the race. It is very important to avoid heavy intakes shortly before the race. 

An important note: We must bear in mind that high intakes of carbohydrates can generate fluid retention and heaviness in general. But don’t worry, what we have done is to provide the body with the necessary fuel for the race or cycle tour and, therefore, to be able to achieve maximum performance. After the effort, everything will return to normal.

2. Nutrition during the race or cycling tour

The big day has arrived, we have been preparing for a good part of the season to successfully complete this test and we want everything to go well. It is very important to plan correctly the food we will consume during the march.

As in the days prior to the race, carbohydrate intake will be key during the race. Increasingly in high performance it is being advocated that the more carbohydrates that can be ingested per hour, the better the performance during the test and even the better the recovery from the effort.

But it is also true that this may have counterparts and our stomach may not be prepared to withstand the intake of this food during the effort.

What can we do about it? Prepare the stomach when we start the training process. During the race it is recommended to be able to ingest between 70 and 90 grams of carbohydrates per hour, which is equivalent to two bars, a bar and a banana or a bar and a gel. Consequently, we will also have to include nutrition in our training in preparation for the race or cycling tour.

Another option, if preferred, is to include the feed in the drums. In this way, we will be able to ingest high amounts of carbohydrates without the need to eat so much. 

In addition to carbohydrates, hydration and mineral salts are very important. For carbohydrate intake to be effective in our body, two water molecules are needed for each carbohydrate. For this reason, while eating it is very important not to neglect our hydration.

As we have already indicated, we always recommend testing the nutrition during the training phase because each body responds in a different way. Each one of us has to find the balance and the type of nutrition and hydration that we assimilate best in order to avoid surprises on the day of the event for which we have prepared.

You can find everything you need in sports nutrition at Deporvillage.net

Alexis Gandía

Physical trainer of the Pro Team Burgos BH team 

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The importance of eating well before and during the race
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The importance of eating well before and during the race For cyclists, nutrition is as important as training. And the fact is that, no matter how much we have prepared physically for a race or cycling tour, if we fail with food, we may …
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DeporVillage
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The importance of eating well before and during the race

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