Talking to your riding buddies to try and figure out what type of calories you should consume whilst training, riding or recovering is like going to your mates for advice about buying a car, everyone has an opinion, you could waste a lot of money, and it probably won’t be the right in the end anyway. This is a problem, so welcome to my solution, a no BS guide to nutrition, eating right and effective training. Over the next few weeks, I’ll posting articles on more specific types of food, but to start, here is a general guide to getting the right fuel.
WE NEED HEAT TO KEEP OUR INTERNAL FURNACES BURNING.
The first thing you need to know when it comes to nutrition is that the word Calorie is derived from the Latin root word calor (Cal-or), meaning heat. Initially, the modern term was coined because the definition of a calorie is the amount of heat that is required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree. However, here in the cycling world, we like to think it’s because our bodies are a furnace, and we need heat to keep that furnace burning.
Food, and by extension nutrition, can be broken down into four major categories; the macronutrients, Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins and the lesser known Amino acids, also known as the building blocks of life, and the micronutrients, a plethora of vitamins, minerals and salts each with a designated function within your metabolism. All nutritional supplements are made up of one, or some combination of these categories, each which claim their own advantages and disadvantages. As a general guideline, a healthy diet consists of a combination of all the categories, and you should always be careful and consult a dietician or a doctor before cutting out one class entirely.
Into the foreseeable future, I’ll be describing the biological function of many of these nutrients, and discussing the varying pro’s and con’s that are associated with the large number of diets that increase and decrease certain nutrients for a claimed physiological advantage. Alongside this, I will be busting some myths surrounding these diets, and hopefully, I can prescribe one that is right for you. More than anything though, riders guide is a community, so let me know what has worked for you in the past, and let me know if you think I’m wrong, there is nothing I love more than hearing from my fellow riders!