This racing season has been brutally affected by the corona virus, but when my Strava feed has something to offer, many cyclists and other endurance athletes are back on the road due to the arrival of summer and the widespread relaxation of the lockdown and have released some fairly legendary numbers .
The athletes had to adapt to achieve their enduro kicks in the “new normal” triggered by the pandemic. Some may wade deeper into the pain pool than normal, especially those who have been forced to ride their bikes for a long time because of illness or restricted mobility.
Fortunately, depending on the region / country, some race plans have returned to give a certain normality to all virtual trainer races to be run on Zwift and Co.
One thing that hasn’t changed from all of this is the important role that nutrition plays in recovering from great efforts – and training for great efforts. Sports nutritionists are often shocked at how often even top athletes fail to pay equal attention to recreational nutrition, which they dedicate to other performance elements. If you eat fried chicken or tofu or french fries or pasta or chocolate milk or protein shakes or electrolyte drinks after trying, of course carbohydrates, proteins, liquids and other nutrients are replenished, but it is hardly optimal.
With a little planning, improving your recreational food game could take your results to a new level.
“There are three Rs to focus on: repair, rehydrate, and refuel” says Alan McCubbin, PhD, sports dietician and founder of Next level nutrition, in Melbourne, Australia.
“How much you should value each one depends on the journey you have just made and the type and timing of the next one.” explains Dr. McCubbin, who advised the (now disbanded) Attaque team Gusto UCI Continental Team and currently serves as a sports dietician for the high-performance program of Triathlon Australia
Let’s say it’s a 100km race / sport that may require a training block of 4 to 8 weeks and a weekly commitment close to 15 to 20 hours.
Repair – team protein
Muscle micro-tear is the typical stress during hard training, where recovery nutrition can help the most. These micro cracks are not an injury – in fact, they are a good sign that your muscles are changing in response to exercise and protein is your recovery friend here.
Dr. McCubbin recommends 0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight after a hard multi-hour workout that may have pushed FTP (functional threshold performance) or MAP (maximum aerobic performance) to its limits and generated millions of micro muscle tears.
It is more important to consume this amount of protein “Every 4-6 hours throughout the day” than immediately after a hard effort as “We now understand from research that the timing after training is not critical (for protein).”
Mark Tallon, PhD, founder of the UK Triathlon Training Service TriathlonLab and advice on food law Legal foodsagrees with these values, but emphasizes the use of liquid supplement proteins such as whey or soy “to ensure adequate protein intake between training sessions. “
“Leucine is the main anabolic ingredient. Ideally you want 3 g of it in the protein form you take after your workout,” said Dr. Tallon. “You can take a carbohydrate / protein gel 15 minutes before the end of a recovery session.”
Dr. Tallon suggested that vitamin C-enriched collagen hydrolyzates could be effective in repairing joints and tendons, especially for runners.
It’s worth noting that most protein recovery studies have focused on gym sports and strength training, but the science that exists for endurance sports tends to freeze around that 0.4 g / protein per kilogram body weight in a single consumption session.
If protein is consumed 3-4 times a day, this is 1.2 g to 1.6 g / day. For a 75 kg cyclist, this corresponds to about 30 g of protein in one session or about 90 to 120 g per day.
Compare this to the top needs of elite cyclists, as the Movistar Pro cycling team showed during Vuelta a España 2015. Detailed analysis The nine Movistar drivers consumed 3.3 g per kilo of body weight of protein a day during the three-week Grand Tour. There are many micro muscle tears that need to be repaired!
Refuel – your friends, carbohydrates
For those who train hard on bikes, average carbohydrate processing rates are usually between 30 and 60 g / h, although they can be up to 100 g / h. Bicycle feeding rarely covers the carbohydrate deficit caused by a long, hard drive, as most riders testify.
“I recommend 1-1.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of body weight immediately after training and every two hours for up to six hours. “ says Dr. Tallon. In caloric terms, 30 g of protein is 120 calories, while 85 g of carbohydrates are 340 calories.
Dr. McCubbin says that, as above, refueling strategies are most important if another hard effort is made within 24 hours. “Then continue on a fairly high-carb diet until you’ve eaten enough carbohydrates to fuel up the next session. “
Simple sugars are the easiest for the body to process and can be most useful when the “muscle glycogen window” is open immediately after a ride. However, research has shown that the type of carbohydrates in the intake time after several hours of activity is not so important.
A newer concept is the “fat window”, which indicates that fat intake after the trip is also important to replenish the intramuscular fat stores to which the body turns when the glycogen levels are low. Research in this emerging field has not yet quantified optimal fat intake.
Rehydrate – be a liquid druid
As already mentioned itemsGiven the variables of endurance sports, getting the right hydration can be difficult. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) stated in a 2007 position paper on hydration:: “The longer the training duration, the greater the cumulative impact of minor discrepancies between fluid needs and replacements that can lead to excessive dehydration or dilution Hyponatraemia. ”
Dr. McCubbin recommends weighing before and after the session to define fluid loss (taking into account the fluids and foods consumed).
“The general rule of thumb, if rapid rehydration is important, is to drink 125-150% of the fluid deficit within the first four hours after training. ” he notices, adds, “A particular focus on rehydration is most important if you lost a lot of sweat in the original session AND there is another important session due in a relatively short period of time, for example in the next 12 to 15 hours.”
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