Eating isn’t a scam, according to a study by the Australian Catholic University that found that inadequate fueled cyclists could sabotage their most important trips.
Dr. Andy King of ACU’s Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research said the study showed drivers who turned to turbo trainers and online training platforms like Zwift and TrainerRoad during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown were not meeting their carb recommendations.
Research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that nearly three-quarters of participants failed to meet their pre-ride energy needs and 75 percent did not consume carbohydrates during sessions where carbohydrate consumption is known to be beneficial.
“Most people haven’t been to the ballpark which means they are seriously selling themselves for important meetings,” said Dr. King. “We were amazed at how little people ate.”
The study examined cyclists and triathletes of all levels who withdrew to indoor trainers during lockdown. The increased focus on indoor training meant that races and important high-intensity training sessions were often conducted online with the help of Zwift, Sufferfest or TrainerRoad.
While dieting on a bike can be a challenge on the go, there are few legitimate excuses for not meeting your carbohydrate recommendations when the kitchen is never more than feet from a stationary bike.
To maximize endurance training performance, it is recommended that athletes consume 1-4 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body mass between one and four hours before training.
The study found that 73 percent didn’t meet pre-workout guidelines, and one in five riders didn’t eat any carbohydrates at all.
During the sessions, 54 percent did not consume any foods or beverages with an energy content, recording water, non-calorie electrolyte drinks, or coffee / caffeine supplements as fuel.
After the trip, 13 percent did not eat or drink anything.
“We know it works. As you fill up better, you will perform better, ”said Dr. King. “If it’s a race or a key session for the top-end adaptation, you have to fuel that or you lose.
“It’s pretty individual, but when you go to these sessions you have to eat.”
/ Public release. This material is from the original organization and can be punctiform, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.