Which nutrients are suitable for cyclists? Are there substances to be assimilated to a greater or lesser extent or even avoided? Let’s look at the macro-division of nutrients for endurance sports.
The nutrients for cyclists par excellence: Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are divided into simple and complex. In simple form, they are present in fruit, honey and sugar; they are quickly digested, and for this reason they are a source of energy for immediate use in the body. In complex form they are found in cereals, bread, pasta, potatoes. Here they are not readily available for energy production but are used more gradually. Carbohydrates are first stored in energy reserve tanks. The most important is glycogen, which is present in the muscles and liver. Wholemeal flours are preferable carbohydrates over refined ones because they are complete with all the Macronutrients.
Carbohydrates are the basis for the reconstruction of ATP molecules. So, in short, they are the best in providing energy, and for this reason they are the basis of any sporting activity, as long as you know how to quantify the doses and timing well.
Fats: nutrients that the cyclist must take or avoid?
Fats (or lipids) are contained in condiments such as oil and butter and in cheese, milk, meats, and cured meats. They have the highest energy power and are stored in the adipose tissue. It is often thought that fats are to be totally avoided. In fact, fats perform some crucial tasks, such as providing a long-lasting energy reserve, helping thermoregulation, providing protection and support for organs.
Therefore, they are to be taken in the correct amount but not to be avoided because they are vital.
Proteins, the building blocks of our body
Proteins respond to plastic needs, i.e. the function of protecting and regenerating the tissues that are consumed every day in the body. They perform the energy function only in case of need. Proteins are inside foods of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, milk and derivatives) and vegetable origin (legumes and cereals). The total daily protein requirement varies in relationship to age and physical activity. A certain amount of protein must be ensured daily. This quantity is called the minimum amount of wear and corresponds to approximately 1 g / kg of body weight but increases to 1.5 g as a function of physical activity. This calculation is based on assimilated proteins. Not all the proteins we introduce are assimilated in the same way. The quality of the proteins can be very different from each other.
We cannot provide you with the exact doses for proper sports nutrition because it should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, we hope to have clarified some doubts about the importance of a complete and balanced diet, which takes into account our needs concerning our motor activity.