Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nutrition While Ridng

Since I started doing a little research on muscle cramps (which I'm still gather information on and will post later) I've started to think more about my nutrition needs while cycling which also plays an important role in preventing cramps while on the road. Unlike young cyclists who seem to be able to pull from some magical reserves from the nutrition gods I am not so lucky...I'm getting older and suffer from the complexities of age...I need food and I need it now!!

I'm 6'1", weight 190 lbs, and if you don't know by now I'm 58 years old. So far I've figured out what works for me ( "me" is the key word here) while riding my Expedition (usually with Betzi my dog) on a 75 degree day. I average 800 feet of elevation gain per every 10 miles. I'm not an ultra cyclist or some other sort of fine tuned athlete, far from it, I'm just a guy who likes to go for a fun ride 3 times a week when my body's not falling apart.

Here's what I eat and drink while riding:
---- Before taking off I eat a healthy low fat, low protein high complex carb breakfast.
---- I down 10 ounces of energy drink per hour ( I use Cytomax at 4 scoops per 27 ounces). I also go through 10 ounces of water per hour (sometimes more).
---- I will generally eat one Powerbar or Clif bar per hour.
---- Sometimes I'll suck down an energy gel.

My general rule of thumb is to hydrate myself enough so at the end of a ride I have not lost anymore then 1% of my body weight from when I started my ride (about 2 lbs).

I'm getting pretty good at sensing my body's nutrition needs while riding before it's to late and I start shutting down or cramp up.. 

After three hours off cycling it's time to stop for a real meal which is another topic of conversation for which there are many books to choose from. I personally like the trial and error method along with a little common sense.
Food of champions

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