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hey i'm new to road cycling but not to biking but have been inactive for about 4 months and got my first road bike about a week ago, so far i've been biking an hour to 2 hours everyday but have not seen a great increase in energy as I have from of activities, I am overwhelmed by the whole world of supplements and vitamins but wanted to know what would be a good source on information about basic beginning nutrition and training routines.
 

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Dr. Flats a lot
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Save your money

There are some key elements to performance. A high carb diet is a major cornerstone, both on and off the bike. Proper hydration, electrolyte repletion and a well balanced diet will be key to performance and recovery. There is a lot more out there. You'll hear reams of information about personal experiences, specific product claims, a lot of advertisments being mislabeled as science and a entire industry aimed at getting your money. You'll do best by keeping a sports drink in your bottles, some carbs in your back pocket and healthy food in your fridge. Keep control over your calories, weight is a huge deal in going fast.
The vitamins and supplements are generally a scam. Save your money. If you want to feel an increase in energy have a cup of coffee. There is tons of data supporting low doses of caffeine increasing performance. You'll prob do better by getting some gels with caffeine than putting Starbucks in your water bottle.
You've been riding for a week. Don't expect great leaps.
Clinics in Sports Medicine had a great review of all the different supplements out there and the available medical data to support them as well as the known side effects and risks. Pretty scary risks and not a lot of benefit. There was some interesting stuff with branched chain amino acids and manganese. But with a balanced diet you'll get all you need.
 

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Don't worry about supplements or vitamins. Eat healthy real food.

For rides that are longer than a couple hours or so (depends on the individual) you should bring food and/or sports drink. I personally try to avoid HFCS, which is in a number of sports drinks.

For training it really depends on what you goals are. If you want to do centuries, "Long Distance Cycling" is a good book.
 

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"[W]ell balanced diet" and "healthy foods" are rather vague concepts.

Here are some guideline for you time on the bike:

Minimum of three hours between a meal and a ride. That means no calories. You are more likely to do harm than good by taking calories during that three hour window.

On the bike, anything less than an hour doesn't require calories. An hour or more, take 200-250 calories per hour.

20 to 30 oz water per hour. No more, no less.

When you are sweating a lot, electrolytes are important. Most sport drinks have electrolytes, most gels don't. I've been using endurolytes this year, no complaints. I did a triathlon in very hot and humid conditions, I did not cramp up.
 

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pretender said:
"[W]ell balanced diet" and "healthy foods" are rather vague concepts.

Here are some guideline for you time on the bike:

Minimum of three hours between a meal and a ride. That means no calories.
You are more likely to do harm than good by taking calories during that three hour window.

On the bike, anything less than an hour doesn't require calories. An hour or more, take 200-250 calories per hour.

20 to 30 oz water per hour. No more, no less.

When you are sweating a lot, electrolytes are important. Most sport drinks have electrolytes, most gels don't. I've been using endurolytes this year, no complaints. I did a triathlon in very hot and humid conditions, I did not cramp up.
Really?
 

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grebletie said:
You are more likely to do harm than good by taking calories during that three hour window. In spite of the growly feeling you might be having in your stomach. Yes, take calories with you if you are going more than an hour, but don't take calories before you are riding.

This applies for early morning workouts, as well. No need for breakfast before the early morning ride, as long as you bring calories with you. Enjoy a nice breakfast afterwards.
 

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pretender said:
You are more likely to do harm than good by taking calories during that three hour window. In spite of the growly feeling you might be having in your stomach. Yes, take calories with you if you are going more than an hour, but don't take calories before you are riding.

This applies for early morning workouts, as well. No need for breakfast before the early morning ride, as long as you bring calories with you. Enjoy a nice breakfast afterwards.
Could you expand on what you mean by "doing more harm than good"?
 

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pretender said:
You are more likely to do harm than good by taking calories during that three hour window. In spite of the growly feeling you might be having in your stomach. Yes, take calories with you if you are going more than an hour, but don't take calories before you are riding.

This applies for early morning workouts, as well. No need for breakfast before the early morning ride, as long as you bring calories with you. Enjoy a nice breakfast afterwards.
bicycling mag says to eat an apple after your ride.. it'll kill off your hunger.
 

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pretender said:
Increased blood sugar leading to insulin release that accelerates glycogen depletion and inhibits utilization of fat stores. IOW bonk.
insulin = glycogen depletion? last i checked insulin initiated glycogen formation and resource allocation in the body, i.e. anabolic processes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

not certain how tested the 3 hour rule is, especially with triathletes eating before/during high output events, but the general idea is true. Eating should start up the insulin cascade which will make most people feel lethargic. But exercise also suppresses this same process, so it is possible to warm up and ride w/o too many consequences. I would recommend waiting at least an hour before a hard ride.
 

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Davis69 said:
insulin = glycogen depletion? last i checked insulin initiated glycogen formation and resource allocation in the body, i.e. anabolic processes.

not certain how tested the 3 hour rule is, especially with triathletes eating before/during high output events, but the general idea is true. Eating should start up the insulin cascade which will make most people feel lethargic. But exercise also suppresses this same process, so it is possible to warm up and ride w/o too many consequences. I would recommend waiting at least an hour before a hard ride.
You seem to have more expertise than I do in these matters. I'm putting a link below that justifies the "three hour rule" in way more detail than I could.

Beyond the physiology, of which I only have a loose grasp, I can say this: Before following the three-hour rule, I had all kinds of mixed experiences with pre-exercise eating. If I felt a bit of hunger in my stomach before a workout or race, I took it as a sign to eat something (naturally), would have something to eat (banana, or apple, or bag of nuts, or half a PB sandwich) yet often ended up feeling lightheaded and bonky during my workout. Since following the three-hour rule, I've had practically none of those problems. A bit of hunger in the stomach doesn't result in bad performance or bonking, as long as I take enough calories on the bike. It's a bit counterintuitive, but has worked for me.

I don't think there is anything "magic" about three hours (as opposed to four or two and a half) but is a rough rule of thumb.

http://thesportfactory.com/site/nutritionnews/Pre_Race_Meal_Protocol.shtml
 

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pretender said:
You seem to have more expertise than I do in these matters. I'm putting a link below that justifies the "three hour rule" in way more detail than I could.

Beyond the physiology, of which I only have a loose grasp, I can say this: Before following the three-hour rule, I had all kinds of mixed experiences with pre-exercise eating. If I felt a bit of hunger in my stomach before a workout or race, I took it as a sign to eat something (naturally), would have something to eat (banana, or apple, or bag of nuts, or half a PB sandwich) yet often ended up feeling lightheaded and bonky during my workout. Since following the three-hour rule, I've had practically none of those problems. A bit of hunger in the stomach doesn't result in bad performance or bonking, as long as I take enough calories on the bike. It's a bit counterintuitive, but has worked for me.

I don't think there is anything "magic" about three hours (as opposed to four or two and a half) but is a rough rule of thumb.

http://thesportfactory.com/site/nutritionnews/Pre_Race_Meal_Protocol.shtml
From what I understand, the insulin response is roughly proportional to the size of the meal. So, while not eating a large meal several hours before a workout is a good idea, a light snack leading up to a workout doesn't seem to me something that one needs to absolutely avoid.
 

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Not really

pretender said:
Increased blood sugar leading to insulin release that accelerates glycogen depletion and inhibits utilization of fat stores. IOW bonk.
This would only apply if you had chosen relatively high glycemic index foods. Something like rolled oats (just one example of many) tends not to cause this. Well-adapted athletes can tolerate food easily until shortly before exercise with no difficulties.

The reason for the three hour rule is MUCH more tied to the intensity of the exercise. If you're going to participate in an event with very hard efforts (like a crit) then you want to have a fairly empty stomach or you risk "becoming reacquainted with your lunch." Also, the three hour rule is about a meal, not about calorie intake. Sports drinks, gels, etc. are well tolerated right up to the event because they are easily digested.

On my "long ride days" I get up at 6:40 AM, have a big breakfast of whole grain cereal, milk, raisins and juice, and am riding by 7:45. No problems whatsoever with either intestinal distress or bonking. I'm not doing super high intensity, so this works just fine.
 

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Dr. Flats a lot
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3 hour conclusion is BOGUS! Author is a punk,

http://thesportfactory.com/site/nutr...Protocol.shtml

Despite the starting question of "What advantages are achieved by consuming carbohydrates sooner than 3 hours as opposed to later than 3 hours? " No evidence was presented in the entire piece comparing carb intake sooner than 3 hours to 3 hours or later. At the end of the piece the author simply states "I contend that eating sooner than 3 hours......"
Further the author makes multiple misleading statements;
Under the "MAJOR effects of Insulin...." states "stimulates fatty acid and TG synthesis although only to a MINOR extent in humans." I think that procludes it from being a major effect.
Likewise the author makes statements such as insulin increasing glycolysis in muscle and adipose tissues. While this is true it also decreases the same process and the net effect is actually to decrease glycolysis. Also states that insulin both increases and decreases glycogen synthesis in muscle and liver. These are paradoxical process and neglects to state the net balance is to make glycogen.
This stuff ticks me off. The author is hiding behind scientific jargon to make statements he cannot support and further demonstrates either very poor communication skills or a lack of understanding of metabolism. Folks will gravitate towards this because he sounds like an expert. Hence he gets to sell lots of books. Many of these guys write lots of books and never publish anything in peer reviewed journals because if they tried to put this in front of an editorial review it would get ripped to shreds.
I don't claim to know metabolism well, I don't think many out there really do. There are so many overlapping processes and individual variations that it's really tough to make generalizations for all athletes, let alone cyclists.The best anyone can do is to give you some ideas that you can try out and see what works for you.
None of my athletes eats the same, drinks the same, recovers the same or rides the same. As professional and elite cyclists they are in constant flux and any good coach will come up with individualized strategies for competing and recovering.
The basics about high carb diets, carbs while riding, staying well hydrated, well balanced diet and making sure you are getting electrolyte repletion hold universally. These are very generalized statement but getting there is up to you and will involve choices as well as a fair dose of trial and error.
Also the statement "20-30 oz per hour water no more, no less" is dangerous, wrong and should be totally disregarded. Your water loss will depend on a number of different parameters not the least of which is your environment. Riding in 90F degrees certainly will require more water than riding in 60F degrees.
 

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zoikz said:
Also the statement "20-30 oz per hour water no more, no less" is dangerous, wrong and should be totally disregarded. Your water loss will depend on a number of different parameters not the least of which is your environment. Riding in 90F degrees certainly will require more water than riding in 60F degrees.
Taking water in excess of what can actually be assimilated by the body isn't merely wasteful or inconvenient, it can also be dangerous.
 

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Also the statement "20-30 oz per hour water no more, no less" is dangerous, wrong and should be totally disregarded. Your water loss will depend on a number of different parameters not the least of which is your environment. Riding in 90F degrees certainly will require more water than riding in 60F degrees.[/QUOTE]

I agree. Factor in higher altitudes and one can definitely need more water.
 

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Dr. Flats a lot
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pretender said:
Taking water in excess of what can actually be assimilated by the body isn't merely wasteful or inconvenient, it can also be dangerous.
huh? please let me know how it is dangerous.
My opinion would be the risks of dehydration far outweigh you having to pee.
 

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zoikz said:
huh? please let me know how it is dangerous.
My opinion would be the risks of dehydration far outweigh you having to pee.
It's called hyponatraemia. Drinking too much fluid is not merely inconvenient, it can cause death.

http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2003/february/exercise.htm

[1.2 liters = 40 oz. This is the hourly consumption amount which Noakes found led to "massive over-hydration."]
 
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