Ask Cyclist: Fuel for larger cyclists
We answer most subscriber emails ourselves but sometimes, we need an expert like Performance Nutritionist Ted Munson to take a more scientific approach.
Q: My name is Kim , I am an avid cyclist & subscribe to Cyclist [Ed: love your work, cheers Kim].
I am a big guy coming in at 94kg & all the talk about protein, carbohydrate etc is confusing me a bit. Without going to a nutritionist I wonder if you could you give me a little advice? Most of my rides are about 2–3 hours but I have a bigger one coming up soon. It’s crunch time. Quite literally.
Can you tell me what is good for pre-ride, during ride & post-ride please?
I understand that protein is a great choice for post-ride for recovery but what are good foods to have as pre-ride along with snacks, drinks to have during ride?
Ted Munson: For rides over 90 minutes (most in your case) your main concerns should be both energy and hydration. You’ll also burn more energy that the ‘average’ male due to your large frame.
Pre ride- Aim for around 2g of carbohydrate per kilo of your body mass in the hours leading up. In your case, a large bowl of cereal, two slices of toast and a banana would be sufficient. Use GO Hydro (500-1000ml) in the hours beforehand to ensure you start your ride in a hydrated state.
Aim for 60g of carbohydrate and around 500ml of fluid per hour (depending on how much you sweat). This could come from 3 SiS gels and water, or 1 Isotonic gel and 500ml of GO Electrolyte. The choice is yours, as long as you hit your energy goals.
The 30 minute window to take on fuel post exercise is important because your metabolism stays high, meaning that your body will absorb nutrients faster. A REGO Rapid Recovery shake is ideal, however a carbohydrate based meal with moderate protein is sufficient as a replacement.
It’s possible to combine or replace the above with ‘real food’ but this means compromising knowing exactly what you’re taking and the convenience. However, a good idea is to make up a batch of rice cakes to take before, during and after rides. Just weigh out the rice and figure out exactly how much carbohydrate you’re consuming.
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