to boost energy, stamina and results?
If you are serious about your cycling then selecting the right foods, drinks and supplement can dramatically improve your results
- Whether you just can’t lose those lbs,
- or have reached a plateau and losing those seconds (or minutes) seem impossible, however often you train.
In this article we will cover the best smoothies before cycling (to help with energy and stamina) and the best smoothie after cycling (to help with muscles and recovery)
Smoothies before Cycling…
A key item to consider is that cycling – like marathon running or long distance swimming – has quite unique sports nutrition demands.
Whereas most other sports often have short energy demands, with cycling it is very much endurance that counts.
On average cycling will burn more than 300 calories per hour, which for long (or demanding) sessions can lead to large energy demands. For example in extreme cases, like the Tour de France, riders will burn more than 6000 calories per day.
That is why your smoothie diet plan will need to focus on 2 key items:
- A Smoothie before Cycling (to provide the ‘right fuel’)
- A Drink during Cycling (To ‘refuel’ as you go along)
Taking each one in turn :
1. The right fuel in the right place
Your stored fat is great as a ‘reserve’ fuel but it’s maximum energy output in about 1/2 that of the ‘carbohydrates’ (glycogens stores and glucose levels) in your body. That is why when your immediate fuel runs out (“hitting the wall” if you are a runner) you will experience tiredness.
If you are having a gentle workout why not try a cycling smoothie like..
THE ACAI BERRY SHAKE.
This cycling smoothie is very easy to make, will fill you up and provide energy, But in addition they contain acai juice. Although they look like a blueberry acais are great antioxidants.
(Don’t forget you need to boost your antioxidants when you go cycling)
You will need
- 4 oz Acai Juice
- 2 unsweetened whole frozen strawberries
- 1 serving Formula 1 Vanilla
- 1 serving Protein Powder
- 4 – 6 oz water
- 4-6oz water
To make add all ingredients in to a blender and blend.
More serious session..
THE INSTANT FUEL SHAKE
Ideal if you want some instant fuel.
You will need
- 2 tbsp Vanilla Formula 1 Sport
- 2 tbsp Protein Powder
- 1 tsp ground almonds
- 3 dried apricots
- 150 ml unsweetened orange juice
- 100 ml water
Simply blend until smooth.
(Of course you could always simply make a shake with water or juice, but where’s the fun in that !)
2. To top up with the right fuel at the right time
Yes you need to get the balance between slow release and quick release energy.
The smoothies above contain low glycemic index ingredients (to provide long lasting energy) but you will need to ‘top up’ as you go along, especially important if you are cycling for longer than 2 hours.
OK a smoothie is not very practical during cycling but an very ‘easy way’ to top with your fuel is to simply add a specialised isotonic and carb drink to your water.
There are a variety of different options you can use designed to help reduce tiredness / help with stamina and energy. There are a variety of different drinks, depending on your cycling intensity and time.
Different plan for different events
Your plan for what to eat, and when, has to reflect what you are going to be doing.
For example are you cycling for 1 hour, 2 hours, or longer?
Why not let us email you a recommendation
B. Smoothie After Cycling.
Probably the most important element to your success will be what you do when you stop cycling.
If, before you start, you use the wrong ‘fuel’ the results are instant – you simply won’t perform as well, get tired quicker and have shorter stamina and endurance. However the results (of following the wrong diet plan) afterwards are not immediate – and you will only notice the difference the next day in soreness, stiffness and fatigue. But if you select the right plan you can make significant improvement to your training and competition results!
The key period to focus on is within 1 1./2 hours to 2 hours after your finish. During this period your muscles are desperate for high quality protein to repair muscle fibres. Feed them with this and they will grow quicker and stronger – miss this and you can undo a lot of the effort you put into your training.
But in addition to adding protein one of the key items which will help your results is to add antioxidants.
If you have had a ‘gentle’ training session try a very simple smoothie with some extra protein.
Strawberry Kiwi Shake
Full of vitamin C you would need to add extra protein powder to help your muscles.
You will need :
- 2 tbs Strawberry Shake Powder
- Extra protein powder (see above)
- ½ banana sliced
- 1 kiwi sliced
- 5 frozen whole strawberries
- 1 ¼ cups apple juice
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
More Serious Session ?
On the other hand if your training was more intense (or longer) then a smoothie simply won’t be enough. Because you would need to add exactly the right type of nutrients to help you get the best results. For example you will get better results with a specialised sports drink than a smoothie.
C. Don’t forget the Antioxidants
When you cycle you will breathe in more oxygen than the average person and therefore generate more free radicals.
Free radicals damage your cells (a bit like the way apples will go brown when you cut them and expose them to air) and you need to take antioxidants to reduce damage. In addition Antioxidants will help reduce muscle cell damage by removing lactic acid from muscles more quickly.
The good news is that if you add antioxidants you will not only help your long term health but will help with reduced recovery times and an increased immune system.
There are lots of different sources of antioxidants, each will also help with specific health issues.
For example why not try one of these…
BLUEBERRY & CRANBERRY SMOOTHIE
Contains 2 of the 6 most powerful antioxidants.
- 1/3 cup skim or semi-skim milk or plain soy milk
- 2 scoop Formula 1 Vanilla
- 2 scoops Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup low-calorie cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- a few drops orange extract
- 4 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in the blender and mix thoroughly until the ice cubes are completely crushed.
And the best cycling smoothie recipes ?
Hopefully the above will have provided some advice and inspiration.
Our online shake & smoothie product site has a variety of shakes & smoothie mix powders ideal for cycling.