What is Sports Nutrition?If you’re just getting into cycling, you’ll probably hear a lot of things you’ve never heard in mainstream diet culture – the dreaded bonk, carbo-loading, energy gels, and so on – it’s enough to make your head spin. Remember, sports nutrition is a whole different beast to daily nutrition or diets optimised for weight loss. Instead of making you look a certain way, sports nutrition is designed to make you perform a certain way. For pro-level athletes, this will mean careful eating plans focusing on macronutrients at specific times of the day, but for beginners it may just mean taking an energy-dense snack along on a ride. While knowledge is power, sports nutrition is a complex science so you don’t need to overwhelm yourself by trying to go from zero to one hundred in a week. Rather, learn as you go, see what helps you feel and perform at your best, and forgive yourself readily if you eat or drink something that’s not in your plan. As you become more experienced and knowledgable, you’ll get a good feel for what works best for you.
Basic Nutrition Tips for Beginner CyclistsIf you dislike a specific type of food, it’s going to be difficult to stick to a eating plan that contains a lot of that food, so start by creating a list of all the foods you enjoy from the following categories:
- Fruit and vegetables (e.g. avocado, tomatoes, spinach)
- Protein (e.g. chicken, seafood, eggs)
- Carbohydrates (e.g. bread, rice, pasta)
- Other (e.g. chocolate, granola bars, sweets)