Nutrition In Mountain Biking


Nutrition In Mountain Biking Essay, Research Paper

Nutrition in Mountain Biking

I. Waterworld 1. Muscles produce 30-100 times more heat while riding 2. Water

doesn’t supply calories, minerals, or vitamins A. But it is used for almost

every body function B. 55-65% of body weight is water 3. When losing a quart of

fluid heart beats 8 more times a minute 4. Before a long ride start

hyperhydrating 1 day in advance 5. Do drinking strategies during your training

II. Rehydrate 1. Drink alot after a ride 2. Sports drinks replenish the best 3.

Eat alot of salty snacks A. Sodium makes your blood like a sponge B. meals

contain more sodium naturally than sports bars

III. Diet helps 1. 60% of your daily fluid comes from food 2. Fruit and

vegatables are great fluid sources 3. Foods high in fat do not provide to much


IV. Equipment 1. Warm up bikes are good for bad weather or the dark 2. Good for

intense intervals

V. Liquids 1. Replenish your self after rides 2. As soon as the rides over is

the best time to replenish 3. Drink or eat 100 grams of carbo 4. Drinking carbo

is much faster than eating carbo 5. You can spend over $1000 a year on recovery


VI. Cereal 1. Flakes are carbo rich, low in fat, and quickly digested 2. Sugar

coated are not bad either 3. Most cereals contain less than 2 grams of fat per


When riding a bicycle, your muscles produce 30-100 times more heat than

when your body is at rest. The body puts out this inferno by increasing the

sweat rates. In the summer you can lose over two liters of fluid per hour on a

really hot day, dehydration and saddle soars are the leading reasons cyclists

drop out of races. The body loses this much fluid mostly from an increase in

sweat rates. Water does not supply calories, minerals, or vitamins, but it is

mandatory almost for every body function. It keeps body temperatures from

rising while the person is exercising. Water accounts for 55-65% of your body

weight. Cyclist that lose over a quart rate, which goes up to eight beats per

minute a decrease in cardiac function, and an increase in body temperature.

This is a study by Edward Coyle Ph.D. Director of the Humane Performance

Laboratory at the University of Texas (Walsh 92).

Dehydration can possibly increase metabolic stress on muscles. It also

causes problems on your internal thermostat by decreasing blood flow to the skin,

slowing sweat rates, and increasing the time needed for fluids to be absorbed

into the blood stream. What is worse, by the time you feel thirsty, your body

has already lost 1-2% of its body weight. Drink lots of water every day, but

before a long ride or a race, start hyper hydrating twenty four hours in advance.

Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine because they both make the body

excrete more water. If you can not meet your calorie needs, use sports drinks,

recovery drinks or other liquid supplements. Try to step fluid lost to sweat,

practice drinking strategies during your training. Determine how much sweat you

lose by weighing yourself before and after your rides Every pound lost equals

sixteen ounces of fluids. It takes practice to drink more than a quart of fluid

per hour without getting cramps or internal discomfort. A hydration bladder

system such as Camelbak, provides water and will help you drink more (Walsh 94).

After you have ridden for a while drink plenty of fluids. What you

drink after the ride can make a difference. Coyle also compared the effects of

drinking nearly two liters of water, sport drinks, or diet cola in athletes two

hours after a workout, the results showed diet cola replenishes 54% of the

fluids lost; water, 64%; and sport drinks, 69%. Before or while riding you

should eat salty snacks. Sodium makes your blood like a sponge so you can

absorb more water and excrete less. Athletes such as cyclists should also drink

plentiful with meals and snacks, because food naturally contains many times more

sodium than soft drinks or energy bars (Walsh 95).

About 60% of your daily fluid comes from the food you eat, but some

foods increase hydration better than others. Fruits and vegetables are great

fluids sources, they are 80-95% water by weight. Fat and Water do not mix very

well, so many foods high in fat do not provide plenty of water (Walsh 95).

Most popular sport drinks contain sodium, potassium, and other

electrolytes. Sport drinks are useful for short high intensity workouts, such

as sprints or intervals cool fluids taste better and may be absorbed more

rapidly than warm drinks (Walsh 95).

Watch the start of any race and you will see an odd sight: Racers

furiously spinning in place, warming up on bikes attached to trainers. These

devices are also great for workouts when the weather is bad or it is dark. If

you enjoy intense intervals, you can knock yourself out since there is no

distractions (Langley, Alsberg 68).

If you just finish a big ride you should put down a sugary drink and

start thinking about your next ride. You should already be preparing for your

next ride by replenishing yourself of the things you lost on your previous ride.

Eating plenty of pasta can also replenish a great deal of carbohydrates you

burned, but not as much as soft drinks or water. During a ride, carbohydrates

in your muscles and your liver is burned to produce energy so you can keep on

going. As soon as the ride is over, the enzymes and receptors responsible for

storing carbohydrates in the muscle and liver tissues are most active, this is

the best time to replenish yourself (Walsh 98).

The common recommendation after a big ride is to drink or eat 100 gram

of carbohydrates. One hundred grams of carbohydrates is equal to four bananas,

or four, eight ounce glasses of fruit juice. If you do plenty of short

intervals, then drink or eat 100 grams of carbohydrates every two to four hours

afterward (Walsh 98).

Drinking energy makes more sense than eating; it is easier to slurp from

a bottle than it is to put down a plate of pasta. There is also evidence

showing that liquids are faster at moving energy from your stomach to your

muscles. When riding the best drink for refueling is probably a sport drink

like Gatorade of Powerade. Trained cyclists have found out that people who

drank a beverage containing carbohydrates and protein replenishes muscle

carbohydrates levels 38% quicker tan those who drank carbohydrates only. When

carbohydrates is combined with protein, glycogen storage is enhanced post


Nutritionists recommend cyclists consume 1.2-1.5 grams of protein per

kilogram of body weight. (For a 150 pound cyclists, that 80-100 grams of

protein daily.) The downside of these recovery drinks is they are expensive.

You can spend up to $1,000 or more a year buying sports drinks (Walsh 99).

A bowl of flakes is convenient, carbohydrates rich, low in fat, quickly

digested and provides plenty of nutrients for the dollar. The nutritional

profile of many cereals is similar to sports bars and recovery drinks. A bowl

of raisin bran with a cup of skim milk provides 330 calories. About 80% of

these are energy packed carbohydrates calories. Sugar coated or frosted cereals

aren’t intrinsically bad, they are better than eating nothing, but they do tend

to lack nutrients. Nutrition labels separate carbohydrate content into sugars,

dietary fibers, and other carbohydrates. Cyclists who have sugar rushes should

avoid cereals that have sugar listed as one of the three ingredients (Walsh 82).

Even the fattest flakes are skinny compared to sausage or French toast.

Most cereals contain less than 2 grams of fat per serving. Pudgy cereals would

be those with more than three grams of fat per serving these generally include

granola, and flaked cereal with nuts (Walsh 82).

The competitive sport of mountain biking is making its way to the United

States. The sport which was mainly held in Europe, has come to the United

States and beginning to draw a heap of notable foreign competitors. According

to most estimates, cycling is the most popular spectator sport in the world,

just behind soccer. The mountain bike is having improvements made to everyday,

and people are willing to spend the money to get the best bike (Comptons

Interactive Encyclopedia).


Alsberg, Tony Langley, Jim “Tickets to Nowhere”

Bicycling Febuary 1997 pgs 68-69 Walsh, Julie “Eating for the Long


Bicycling September 1996 pgs 74-76 Walsh, Julie “Liquid Assets”

Bicycling March 1996 pgs 98-99 Walsh, Julie “Super Bowls”

Bicycling Febuary 1996 pgs 82-83 Walsh, Julie “Waterworld”

Bicycling August 1996 pgs 92-96 OUTLINE

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