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I want to start racing during the summer and I am not sure if I should start taking protein shakes like GNC or Powerbar, etc... Some of my friends take them and they say that it helps, but they lift weights. I was wondering if it helps with cycling at all? I dont really want to gain anymore weight, but I want to help my muscles rebuild faster after rides.
 

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mmmmm....protein shakes

I love those Myoplex Lite protein shakes. Only vanilla flavor, 3-4 fresh strawberries, 1% or skim milk and ice. these things are fantastic. I used to drink them everyday when I was a big weightlifter, 25-50gm's of protein per shake - thats 3-5 chicken breasts. the big reasons that I liked them: 1) they taste good 2) easy to make 3) mostly satisfied my desire for meat-proteins. Now that I am biking, I only drink these if I am in the mood.
 

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Use something specific to endurance sports. A lot of protien shakes are great for that but do nothing for replacing minerals and carbs.

I've been using Endurox this season and love it. Just doing it after a tough ride, quick and easy. I'll down it before hopping in the shower. Unlike last season i don't feel nearly as wasted after a tough day. Did a hard 5hr ride last week and didn't feel like the rest of the day was a loss.
 

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marcelrado said:
I want to start racing during the summer and I am not sure if I should start taking protein shakes like GNC or Powerbar, etc... Some of my friends take them and they say that it helps, but they lift weights. I was wondering if it helps with cycling at all? I dont really want to gain anymore weight, but I want to help my muscles rebuild faster after rides.
They are a relatively cheap and easy way to get protein. I drink a protein shake for breakfast most mornings (whey protein powder, frozen fruit and skim milk). Are you getting enough protein otherwise? There is no benefit to getting too much protein so if you eat steak and chicken every night you probably don't NEED a shake, but if you're having problems eating enough protein for recovery then go for it.
 

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dfleck said:
Use something specific to endurance sports. A lot of protien shakes are great for that but do nothing for replacing minerals and carbs.

I've been using Endurox this season and love it. Just doing it after a tough ride, quick and easy. I'll down it before hopping in the shower. Unlike last season i don't feel nearly as wasted after a tough day. Did a hard 5hr ride last week and didn't feel like the rest of the day was a loss.
how do you choke that stuff down? I nearly threw up on a century once after drinking that--last time I ever had it.
 

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Protein sources

marcelrado said:
I want to start racing during the summer and I am not sure if I should start taking protein shakes like GNC or Powerbar, etc... Some of my friends take them and they say that it helps, but they lift weights. I was wondering if it helps with cycling at all? I dont really want to gain anymore weight, but I want to help my muscles rebuild faster after rides.
Protein shakes are essentially an expensive source of protein, though you may find them convenient. They offer no magic over real food. Good protein sources are fat-free powdered milk, yogurt, low fat cheese, seeds and nuts, tofu, and lean meats. These things can easily be incorporated in your diet if indeed you need more protein. The high-end recommendation is 0.7 grams of protein per day per pound of body weight. If you were in extremely intense competition, like the Giro, Vuelta, or TdF, you might even push it up to 0.9 gm/lb. Most people will do fine at 0.5 gm/lb.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Protein shakes are essentially an expensive source of protein,
While powdered milk might be cheaper, I can get a 6 pound bag of high quality Whey protein mix at Costco for $20. I don't think I could get the same amount of protein for $20 by buying yogurt or meat--plus you have the convenience factor. The shelf life of meat and yogurt is limited. Powdered protein mix lasts a long time. Now the designer Myoplex shakes and such are more expensive, but some people will pay for the convenience of a pre-made shake. Just like energy bars for the bike.

// Many studies are now showing that endurance athletes need more protein than originally thought--a good rule of thumb is up to .8 to 1 g of protein per pound of lean muscle mass. Note that is lean muscle mass--subtract out the fat weight when figuring protein needs.
 

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Ratios

Bocephus Jones II said:
// Many studies are now showing that endurance athletes need more protein than originally thought--a good rule of thumb is up to .8 to 1 g of protein per pound of lean muscle mass. Note that is lean muscle mass--subtract out the fat weight when figuring protein needs.
By the time you subtract out the fat and bones, these ratios are in line with the upper limits I was quoting.
 

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Important to get protein in quick

After longer or harder rides, I do a protein shake within 15 minutes of getting off the bike before I hop in the shower. It's a lot easier and quicker to prepare and digest than trying to prepare some whole food item that is rich in protein. I usually make a more substantial meal later, after i'm out of the shower.

You don't have to get fancy with those high-priced flashy protein powders at GNC. Just go to your local whole foods store and get a can of natural whey protein (I use Natureaid). Mix a couple of heaping scoops with 8 oz fruit juice, a whole banana, a handful of berries, and a dash of some calcium/magnesium powder in a blender, and down the hatch, chased with some water.
 

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Walmart

marcelrado said:
I want to start racing during the summer and I am not sure if I should start taking protein shakes like GNC or Powerbar, etc... Some of my friends take them and they say that it helps, but they lift weights. I was wondering if it helps with cycling at all? I dont really want to gain anymore weight, but I want to help my muscles rebuild faster after rides.
I don't like Walmart, but they have deals. This morning, I bought a big jug of Vanilla protein powder for $11.97.
About 4-5x per week, I have a protein smoothie for breakfast. Blueberries, raspberiires, banana, yogurt, protein powder,soy milk...or whatever fruit is available. Keeps me full until lunch. Ok...it'll keep ya regular too!! It's a healthy alternative to cereals, eggs, muffins, etc... all the "regular" high carb or high fat breakfast foods. Besides, it tastes good.
 

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marcelrado said:
I want to start racing during the summer and I am not sure if I should start taking protein shakes like GNC or Powerbar, etc... Some of my friends take them and they say that it helps, but they lift weights. I was wondering if it helps with cycling at all? I dont really want to gain anymore weight, but I want to help my muscles rebuild faster after rides.
Do you like gas?
 

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bauerb said:
I love those Myoplex Lite protein shakes. Only vanilla flavor, 3-4 fresh strawberries, 1% or skim milk and ice. these things are fantastic. I used to drink them everyday when I was a big weightlifter, 25-50gm's of protein per shake - thats 3-5 chicken breasts. the big reasons that I liked them: 1) they taste good 2) easy to make 3) mostly satisfied my desire for meat-proteins. Now that I am biking, I only drink these if I am in the mood.

I love the vanilla myoplex with a banana in it. Nothing tastes better after a long ride. A great way to get in a bunch of calories and help you recover without having to eat right after a ride.
 

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I weight lift and do MMA besides bike. I always take a protein shake within 15 minutes of lifting, MMA, or running. I only take a protein shake after I bike ride if it's a long ride or alot of hill work. I mix 12 oz skim milk, 1 scoop powdered EAS whey protein (6 lbs $23.49 at BJ's), 2 Tb oatmeal, 1 sliced banana for the potassium to reduce cramping etc, with the Vanilla whey I sometimes mix in oj - tastes like a creamsicle. If I'm riding away from home, I put this in a squeeze bottle in the freezer to bring the temp real cold, then I drink it when I get back to the car. The reason you drink a protein shake is your muscles are screaming for protein when working hard, if they don't get it, then the protein comes out of the muscles to feed the protein need. If you are trying to build muscle for strength, trying to build muscle endurance, you need to take a protein shake. You will build muscle if you don't take a protein shake but it will be slower because of the protein being taken out of the muscle. Protein shakes are cheap and tasty especially with adding fruit but fruit adds calories especially if sweetened. They don't taste bad mixed in water, just weaker, not as rich as in the skim milk plus skim milk adds calcium to your diet.which a recent study said you can take calcium supplements up to 1,000 mg, after that you need to get your calcium from milk because it works and is absorbed in the body in a different way.
 

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I too am a cyclist and weight lifter - I hit the protein w/in 15 min of working out - some form of whey (www.proteinfactory if you want to get geeky @ it). Whey is a much better source of protein than animal flesh - and it's likely less $$ too if you buy in bulk as mentioned above. I have shakes 4x/day being a vegitarian. A lot of the flavored proteins use 'artificial flavor' - Optimum Nutrition makes one called 100% Natural Whey which doesn't have all the $hit in it.

You can find protein online cheaper than at GNC for sure... www.netrition.com and www.dpsnutrition.net are 2 places I've gotten a lot (before I found proteinfactory).

Also - taking more than 30-35 g protein per 'meal' is just wasting it as that's what you can absorb in 1 sitting.
 

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BenWA said:
After longer or harder rides, I do a protein shake within 15 minutes of getting off the bike before I hop in the shower. It's a lot easier and quicker to prepare and digest than trying to prepare some whole food item that is rich in protein. I usually make a more substantial meal later, after i'm out of the shower.

You don't have to get fancy with those high-priced flashy protein powders at GNC. Just go to your local whole foods store and get a can of natural whey protein (I use Natureaid). Mix a couple of heaping scoops with 8 oz fruit juice, a whole banana, a handful of berries, and a dash of some calcium/magnesium powder in a blender, and down the hatch, chased with some water.
Although protein shakes are certainly no magical little pill, I find them useful for the same reasons as BenWA. When I return from a long ride, I seldom feel like cooking up a meal; a protein shake fills the gap between the end of the ride and a more comprehensive meal of solid food.

Also, a solid meal sometimes doesn't sound good on return from a ride whereas a cold shake does. I find this to be especially true on hot days.
 
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