It's often hard to get the nutritional balance right to supplement your cycle training over the winter months.
Cold weather means you just want to eat stodge, office Christmas parties make it hard to stick to sensible options and the festive period overall is just a delectable delight of nibbles and bubbles!
Even for those with the best intentions, a well-balanced diet can be hard to achieve, however, follow these tips and it will help see you through those cold, dark winter months.
1. Overall diet
- Fuelling off the bike is as important to fuelling on the bike
- Try not to fill up on stodge throughout the colder months, focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet to cover all essential nutrients
- Include lean protein, carbohydrates with low to moderate GI and a wide range of fruit and vegetables.
2. Nutrition pre-exercise
- 2-4 hours pre-training: Carbohydrate meal alongside 500ml of fluid
- 1 hour pre-training: Small snack
3. Nutrition during winter exercise
- 60g of carbohydrate per hour from: energy gels, bars, fluids etc
4. Fluid intake during winter exercise
- With layering clothes we still sweat, and a decreased urge to drink means you need to make a conscious effort to take fluids on board
- 500-1000ml of fluid per hour will help keep dehydration at bay (1 - 2 water bottles per hour on average)
5. Nutrition post-exercise
- Recovery nutrition should be taken within 30 minutes of finishing exercise.
- Try a recovery drink followed quickly with a meal ladened with carbohydrates and lean protein.
6. Winter supplements
- Even professional athletes that train outdoors can be deficient in vital vitamins during the winter months, such a vitamin D.
- Although no substitute for the real thing, often supplements do help, so consider taking multivitamins or vitamin D over the winter months.
Now it's over to you!
We would like to hear whether there's anything that you do differently with your nutrition over the winter months to help you stay fit and fuelled appropriately on the bike?