Top nutrition tips for beginner cyclists

Anyone who is interested in cycling knows that nutrition is important. You can use cycling supplements to improve your health or you can look for the best protein powder for cyclists to add to your cycling nutrition regime. But, as a beginner, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do for your health to improve your cycling performance.

If you are interested in sports nutrition to improve your physical activity when cycling, there are some tips that you can follow to be a successful novice cyclist. You could introduce whey protein into your diet before and after you go out for a ride or you could use a sports drink with electrolytes for rides that are high intensity. One of the best ways to maintain your activity levels is to look into different healthy diets and find one which can best improve your health and athletic performance. Read on below for top nutrition tips for beginner cyclists.

Eat the right number of calories

As a cyclist, you will need to increase the number of calories that you consume because you are now more active, and therefore you will need more energy. But, be careful as it can become very easy to consume more calories than you should. So be sure to eat only the right number of calories and stick to healthy choices rather than junk food.

You can calculate how many calories you should consume for muscle growth and improving your body weight by multiplying the distance you have travelled by 40 to 50 calories. So, if you have travelled for 30 km, you will need to eat approximately 1200 calories. If you have finished a strenuous or difficult ride, you can increase your calories by up to 250 but it is important to never increase or decrease over this amount as it can cause weight gain or muscle loss.

Be sure to eat enough protein

Protein is vital for a healthy diet, especially for positive long-term results. It will help to improve your immune system function, your overall health, and your ability to recover from rides. Many people see it solely as a muscle gaining tool but for cyclists, it can help to improve your ride and helps with the all important protein synthesis in our bodies.

If you do not eat meat, you can increase your protein by eating beans or supplementing with a pea protein shake. Another benefit of eating more protein and lowering your carbohydrate intake is that you will not need to eat as much and you will maintain a healthy weight. You can include dairy, meat, eggs or beans in your diet to increase your protein, as well as easily digestible shakes for additional nutrition.

Go for good fats

The old belief that fat makes you fat has been disproved for “good” fats, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. You can find these fats in fish, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and seeds. These should be included in your diet as they can help to improve your energy levels and recovery abilities after difficult or long rides.

These fats can also help to reduce muscle inflammation, which cyclists can experience if they are injured or if they are new to cycling. You will also find that weight loss will increase when you eat more “good” fats and that your metabolism will improve. You should aim to eat about 20 to 30g of good fats per day in order to reap the most benefits. You can include them by eating more oily fish and nuts, but test for any allergies first.

Always stay hydrated

Hydration is one of the most important nutrition tips for any cyclist, whether you are a novice or an expert. You need to drink enough water to stay hydrated for the duration of your ride, as you can become dehydrated and ill if you do not. You should always aim to drink up to one to two litres of water a day, especially when riding.

You can invest in electrolyte sachets or supplements to take before and after a particularly long ride. Bring along these sachets or gels and use them when riding to replenish the nutrients you might lose on the ride. Look for electrolyte products that offer added vitamins and minerals so that you do not become fatigued. Avoid any with added caffeine as this can add to dehydration over time.

Final thoughts

Nutrition when cycling is of vital importance. You will need to be sure that you take care of your health so that your performance can improve and reach new heights. You should be sure to eat the right amount of calories and protein in order to maintain your recovery levels. Remember to eat more good fats and always stay hydrated at all times.