So, from time to time I like to browse the sports science literature thats been interesting lately and I read this one today that I thought was interesting, especially since a lot of you are competing in Spring Events.
Its an article from Peak Performance discussing carbohydrate usage at different stages of metabolism.
I read it, so you don’t have to. Thank me later.
* You utilise fat as an energy source in higher proportions at low and mid ranges of metabolism (think L1-2) but glycogen more as metabolism inceases (think L3 and up) You burn more glycogen as an energy source across the board though. If that doesn’t make any sense to you just check out the graph fig. 1.
* You can only convert about 250 calories per hour from glucose to glycogen, like from the Tailwind or whatever you are consuming on your ride. But You burn up to 1000 cal per hour when you are really hammering. A shortfall of about 800 calories. That comes from stored liver and muscle glycogen.
* Theres no point consuming any more than the 60 grams or so glucose that equates to 200 calories every hour. You might just get tummy pains.
* Adding fructose to the glucose you consume improves oxidation rate. The ideal ratio is 2: 1 Glucose to Fructose.
* Caffeine may also improve CHO oxidation.
So there you are. Go for about 200-250 calories per hour, 2:1 glucose to fructose, ideally with a little bit of caffeine.
I personally always use Tailwind Raspberry Blast. It has all that stuff pre mixed together. Yeah I know that reads a bit like an ad, but the fact is that now I’ve been using Tailwind I’d keep using it whether or not they were supporters of my cycling, just because the contents are backed up by the science.
You can buy it online here…
Hope thats useful if you’re planning nutrition for events coming up.
As always, ride safe and have fun!