Why Use PowerBar® Sports Nutrition for your TransBaviaans?
At first glance mountain biking is a relatively simple sport: you sit on the bike, pedal hard and give it all you’ve got until your strength and stamina give out. Many cyclists reach this point sooner than they’d like.
In order to keep up the pace and finish strong the body must be supplied with the right amount of fluid and nutrients during endurance competitions or training. A healthy and varied diet that is adapted to your daily needs will give you a good foundation. Together with targeted sports nutrition strategy before, during and after training, you can get the most out of your training and improve your performance.
A sport nutrition strategy helps you getting more out of your training. For a better understanding of which products to use and when to use them, we created the
3 AFTER system on our packaging to help everyone understand the best time to use our products around their exercise.
The three most important key principles of a sports nutrition strategy for endurance athletes are:
Hydration – supply of the body with sufficient fluids
Energy – fuel for your muscles
Recovery – nutrition strategy to optimize regeneration and help promote training adaptations
Three simple steps to optimize your hydration level:
• Start your ride well hydrated
• During cycling drink at regular intervals
• After the ride rehydrate to recover faster
The longer the distance and the higher the temperature and humidity, the greater the need for fluids. A general hydration strategy for endurance exercise lasting more than
60 minutes is to drink amounts of circa 400-800ml/hour, consumed regularly in small quantities over each hour (e.g. 150ml every 15 minutes). If you compete in a hot environment, you will need a little more fluid per hour than in a cold environment.
Coach Series | Nutrition tips for cyclists
Isotonic Sports Drinks – A closer look.
Isotonic sports drinks (carbohydrates-electrolyte solutions, with e.g. C2MAX*) are the choice for most athletes. They have the same particle density (osmolality) as blood plasma and are therefore rapidly emptied from the gut, which quickly replace fluids lost by sweating and maintain hydration during prolonged exercise.
Caffeine – A closer look
For many of us, a morning cup of coffee helps us to wake up, and a coffee after lunch gets us through the afternoon. Not only coffee contains the stimulant caffeine but also other caffeinated beverages or sports nutrition products. Caffeine has numerous actions on different body tissues. Already as little as 75mg caffeine per portion can increase mental performance. You will find caffeine in the following PowerBar® products: ISOMAX Isotonic Sports Drink, ENERGIZE bar coconut, POWERGEL® Original black currant and green apple, POWERGEL® FRUIT Mango Passion fruit, POWERGEL® HYDRO Cherry, POWERGEL® Shots Cola.
PowerBar® ISOACTIVE and ISOMAX Isotonic Sports Drink are designed to maximise your rate of hydration while leaving you refreshed. Made up with water they provide a carbohydrate electrolyte solution which contributes to the maintenance of endurance
performance. Sodium, the primary of the 5 main electrolytes lost in sweat, enhances the absorption of water during prolonged endurance exercise. In addition, sweat contains among other substances the minerals chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
In Cycling, convenience is key, as most snacks have to be squeezed into a jersey pocket. Bars, gels and shots are popular for this very reason.
Physical activity requires energy. The more intense (higher speeds) or longer duration of the activity the higher the rate of energy used.
Carbohydrates are the primary and fastest fuel for endurance activities and can be stored as an energy source in our body in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscle. Muscle glycogen is a readily available carbohydrate source for the working muscle. On the other hand the main role of glycogen in the liver is to maintain a constant blood glucose level. As blood glucose levels drop hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) may develop resulting, for example, in reduced mental alertness and ability to concentrate.
You’ll only discover how far you can go if your ‘energy tanks in muscle and liver’ are stocked-up. As a general rule, you should eat low-fat, carbohydrate-rich meal that is low in fibre and easy to digest 3-4 hours before your exercise (e.g. pasta with low-fat tomato sauce, cold or hot cereal with banana, honey and low-fat yoghurt.
Small carbohydrate-rich snacks (e.g. 1 PowerBar® ENERGIZE Bar, POWERGEL® SHOTS, ripe banana, toast with honey) should be taken up to 1 hour before. If you tend to suffer from pre-competition jitters and/or don’t feel like eating, try liquid carbohydrate sources instead (i.e. isotonic drink or gel dissolved in water) if you cannot face solid food.
When your glycogen stores are depleted, you are not able to continue cycling at a high intensity. Therefore, you need to provide your body with the right source and right amount of carbohydrate during prolonged cycling activities.
PowerBar® ISOACTIVE and ISOMAX Isotonic Sports Drink, ENERGIZE Bar, POWERGEL® and POWERGEL® SHOTS have been developed for endurance sports with C2MAX Dual Source Carb Mix, a special ratio of glucose and fructose sources. The recommended carbohydrate intake depends on duration and intensity of the ride and lasts up to 90g carbohydrates per hour:
After intense endurance training or competition recovery is key. Rapid recovery is a must during periods of heavy training and anytime you have more than one training session a day. In addition, sports nutrition strategies help promote training related adaptation processes which helps you to get the most from one training session to the next.
It’s important that you give your body the right nutrients and the right amounts directly after exercise. The body needs
• Carbohydrates to refill its glycogen stores
• High-quality protein to repair the damaged muscle tissue and to build new muscle tissue
• Fluid and electrolytes (especially sodium) for efficient rehydration
As soon as possible after training – ideally before taking a shower – the body should be supplied with a combination of carbohydrates and protein, in addition to sufficient fluid. If you don’t feel like eating a meal or solid foods try a recovery drink: PowerBar® RECOVERY
Regeneration Drink is designed for immediate use after exercise to provide your body with high quality protein sources, carbohydrates and minerals. A delicious PowerBar® PROTEIN PLUS 30% Bar in combination with fluid or a protein shake possibly mixed with a ripe banana are other options directly after a ride. To optimize the muscle glycogen stores this should be followed by carbohydrate-rich meals as increasing the total amount of carbs consumed after exercise is the most important factor for long-term recovery.
Try new nutrition strategies in training first, especially as factors such as training intensity and duration play a crucial role in tolerances. For example, high exercise intensity or nervousness can reduce the bodies tolerance of food and drinks. Therefore, you need to work out yourself ‘what product‘, ‘when’ and in ‘which amounts‘ suits you best. Never experiment in an important race or in training the day before – you could still
be suffering next day if you experiment the day before.
If you’re planning to compete in a race that will require your body’s muscle glycogen stores to be at their maximum then carbohydrate loading – a special technique in which you taper your training one or more days before a race, whilst increasing your intake of carbohydrates – might be right for you. Done correctly, the net result is a significant boost in your muscle stores of glycogen.
Carb-loading methods have changed dramatically in recent years. Very complicated and extreme diet-exercise methods are no longer essential to increase muscle glycogen stores successfully. An effective and easy strategy to maximize your energy stores before a competition is to consume a high-carbohydrate intake (8-12g carbohydrates/kg bodyweight) in the week prior to competition in combination with a reduced training schedule.
The PowerBar® plate model offers a meal planning approach that is simple and helps you get an idea about the balance between the food groups for meals which are high in carbs:
PowerBar® plate model
Easily-tolerated grain products (e.g. pasta, white bread, instant oatmeal,cornflakes, cereals), rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, potatoes, fish, seafood, lean meats (e.g. lean beef, veal or lamb), poultry, eggs, low-fat milk and dairy products
Seasonal or frozen and easily-tolerated cooked vegetables, carbohydrate- rich ripe fruits (e.g. banana), fresh vegetable and fruit juices / smoothies in a great variety
In addition: Healthy fats e.g. refined rapeseed oil for cooking or virgin olive oil to prepare cold meals in small quantities
Examples of high carbohydrate-rich meals based on the PowerBar® plate model include:
• Porridge with low-fat milk and fruits
• Breakfast cereal with low-fat milk and banana
• Pasta with low-fat tomato sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of grated low-fat cheese
• Toast spread with a little low-fat cream cheese, jam or honey and a glass of fruit juice
Examples of high carbohydrate-rich snacks include:
• Dried fruits
• Banana smoothies
• PowerBar® NATURAL ENERGY CEREAL Bar
Glycogen is stored in the muscles together with water. That means that if you‘ve effectively super compensated your muscle glycogen stores, you‘ll naturally be a bit heavier because of the extra water you‘re carrying.
This is why it’s important to try out before a competition. Be sure to practice your carbohydrate loading regimen before long training sessions. This will help you optimize the right types and quantities of foods and beverages you‘ll personally need to successfully carb-load, and will also help you get a sense of the performance benefits you can expect as a result.