Nutrition plays a key in making your bike training effective, but if a good diet doesn’t feel enough to go to your best performance, here I will explain why and what are some additional supplements which could help you to achieve it.
why cyclists need supplements?
Like in all sports, with endurance supplements for cyclists, you can reduce the amount of time required to train, enhance your performance and recovery. So supplements become a great option to maximize your recovery and to take the most advantage for all your sessions, and if you are someone that can’t ride every day, this pump will help you to don’t lose your ride pace and keep your develop.
So we understand why it’s important to use supplements, they bring us an extra charge that we may need for our routines, but we have to be aware that they aren’t compared with good alimentation. Our diet is the main source of nutrients and vitamins, supplements are just an extra that all athletes need to keep their high performance or help to push that progression a little more.
Remember, we probably are not “pro” in cycling but because we follow this discipline constantly, we should as well follow some of the steps that a professional cyclist does to avoid injuries and maximizing all their sessions. And I want to be honest, this post is not something that focuses on creepy secrets like which is the secret pill to boost your ride 5 more miles or what kind of supplements will make you run faster? Not at all, my perspective it’s that a good diet and commits training will bring you that, BUT! these little pluses may help you in order to keep a healthier body and accelerate your natural development.
which kind of supplements are recommended?
Now, there’s a wide of sports supplements that people use, some of them because of them really usefully on any stage and many others that are not too effective but because of marketing might.
I don’t mean that popular influencers or marketing lie, not at all, but there are many products util for specific situations, that we don’t really need yet, and we still buy it because of good marketing post. However, as long as we keep our progression we may like another extra help to keep our body on the best condition for the intensity of the session. But this extra help should be followed by an expert that analyze your specific situation and gives you an appreciation about what you really need on your next steps.
So there are the three things that I always use and I think we all need no matter the level of our condition:
1) Protein (Extra feed)
2) Amino acids (Recover and boost your power)
3) Glucosamine (Treat and prevent common injuries)
While carbohydrates are the main source of energy, the protein it’s, without doubt, the main source to rebuilt all those fibers brokes through your cycling session. So, if you want to maintain and grow your muscle you will need to ingest a good quantity of protein, sometimes we don’t have time enough to organize all the meals that we need for that, and there is when a good protein shake can help you to do this task.
You can find a good amount of protein in foods like beef, eggs, chicken, fish, chickpeas, and lentils. These last three I can confirm are really easy to digest and since I include them I have watching better results on my body.
Personally, I use a whey protein powder as an extra ingest to make high-quality protein shakes, quick and easy. So you can add this “extra meal” on your diet plus you’ll know exactly how much you’re taking.
The recommendations vary from 1.2 g / kg of body weight to 2.2 g / kg, however, this may be complicated for many of us, so what I do is depending on if I trained or not, I drink the protein and if my session was really intense I add a little more. It’s mostly using common sense than tables with data.
There is a wide range of protein powder options: soy, egg, and casein, but I personally prefer whey. Being specific I use Dymatize ISO100 this particularly because it contains a high concentration of essential amino acids, which support muscle recovery and the isolated protein allows an easier and better absorption.
This supplement in few words increased endurance, explosive athletic performance and decrease recovery time. Of course, it’s not a magic pill, all this is thanks to your effort, but this helps to accelerate your metabolism giving you a push to improves your performance.
Some people consider that They can be even more effective than whey protein for building muscle. Going further, n order for your body to make protein, it requires 20 different amino acids—nine of which it has to get from the stuff you eat and you can’t leave without them. But you know what? we don’t need to over-complicate we find many of those amino acids on our regular diet on meat, vegetables, grains, soy, especially in the seafood we can find amino acids.
Even if my diet normally is based on grains and seafood I always like to add some extra amino acids easy to digest, in case I couldn’t eat as I should or just to have some extra power. So, doing that I and you are able to give an advantage to our body to recover, have more energy and increase our muscular hypertrophy (build muscle).
By the way, personally I rather use liquid Amino fuel from Twinlab. It’s easy to digest, one spoon and you are ready and gives me great results.
For last but no less, glucosamine. I can’t say how many times this vitamin had helps me to avoid an injury… Since I was fifteen years old I discovered this product and it was maybe one of the best advice that a trainer gave to me. Glucosamine plays a vital role in building cartilage. When many people take it as a supplement to treat arthritis and osteoarthritis, I started using it for some pain that I got on my knees and wrists and I still use it (not all months but at least 2 months and I rest one month of it).
There it’s a couple of things that you should know about glucosamine before using it. Glucosamine takes between two to four weeks to make its effect, so if you present any kind of pain you can use it but you won’t see a high result until time happens (it’s something long term that benefits your whole body). Second, this supplement it’s not only for reducing pain or an injury, it helps you to prevent the slowly destroying more of the joint (that it’s usually what happens when you have high sessions of workout).
Glucosamine has been shown to be good for all joints, I personally use it for the knee and wrist with good results. The instructions usually say that you should take it three times a day, however since this supplement is used by people with arthritis I do not like to abuse it and I take it once or twice a day (morning, morning and night) and it works for me perfectly.
I’m not really peaky with the brand of glucosamine but Nature’s Bounty is the one that I found with a good price and good rates.
Last few tips:
- I take the protein after every session, If I know that the session will be heavier I take one in the morning with my breakfast and one after the workout.
- I take the amino acids before my workout. I don’t think that it’s more effective if you use it at that moment, but it’s a good way to don’t forget to take it.
- When I’m actively training I use the glucosamine for two months and then I rest one. Most of the time I take it one in the morning and once at night, but many times I take only in the morning and still work.
- Multivitamins are always a good option to prevent injuries and keep a body healthy, things like centrum that are simple but good.
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