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Cycling Training Program Should Include Proper Nutrition

A cycling training program for longer rides can become drainage on body food stores and fluids. Those who have progressed to this level of fitness should include thought over incorporating a nutrition plan in order to maintain a long-term level of physical exercise. Without a source of food the body will crave nutrition for sustained physical exertion and lack of fluids ultimately leads to dehydration, a severe condition. A good training program, therefore, must include basic elements for energy, protein, salts and fluid replacement. Sometimes it is difficult to see fluid loss because a cycling workout outside increases water evaporation.

Hydrating has been a well-known necessity during any endurance event. The majority of weight lost during a cycling workout is fluids. Each individual can determine sweat rate, or the rate fluids are lost during a cycling workout. This is performed by checking weight before and following cycling training and carefully monitoring the fluid intake during the workout. The goal is to take in an equivalent amount of fluids that are lost to prevent dehydration.

More recently it has been determined that fluid intake is not very productive when the body does not contain a certain level of salts. Without salts present in the system, water consumed may remain in the stomach and serves no purpose. Fluid replacement is better served with a sport drink containing a level of salt. Many recently developed sport drinks actually increase salt content for better absorption. Salt tablets are another option for salt replacement particularly when the cycling workout is on a hot day.

The final aspect of good nutrition for cycling training is a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Many sports bars and sports drink provide a source of carbohydrates for energy. However, there should also be focus on protein during the cycling workout. A ratio of 1 part protein to 4 or 5 parts carbohydrates is considered optimum. Carbohydrates may provide the most immediate source of energy but protein is required to help absorb carbohydrates and supply the muscles with necessary protein. Protein from whey, milk protein, or soy is best because they do not require consuming meat.

Competitive cyclist should develop a cycling program that mimics race day conditions. No individual wants to run out of energy and strength during the race and the same is true for every cycling workout. It is during cycling training that the rider will best determine what source of fluid replacement and nutrition work best. It should never be an unknown factor determined during the race. Every cyclist should remember the importance of training the body to accept nutrition by incorporating it into the cycling program.

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