Nutrition Tip June 26 2010

What is fueling your ride?

There is a lot of emphasis on what cyclists use as their “pre-ride snack”…..but many studies show that the food going into your body the couple hours prior to exercise does not “fuel” your activity. These studies show that it takes 24 to 48hrs for muscle fuel (glycogen) to store and become available to burn.  Therefore during a workout, you are not burning your pre-workout snack….you’re burning what you ate and stored one to two days earlier.

Please note that there are also other studies out there that will say something different.  That’s the funny thing about nutrition…although we all need it, our bodies respond differently to different things.  Bottom line is that you should try fueling your body with good nutrition at all times and not just the few hours before a ride.

Let’s be sure to continually fuel that body with goodness.

  • Darryl

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….for every nutrition report you see saying one thing, you’ll find another saying the complete opposite. Nutrition is a very individualized thing so you can take research as a good rule of thumb, but not as the only point of view.

  • Slowdad

    “Therefore during a workout, you are not burning your pre-workout snack”

    That’s completely not true.

    Yes, your main fuel source is muscle glycogen during short/medium efforts, and yes you don’t replenish muscle glycogen very quickly, but you don’t have enough to only use that.

    Fat etc is also converted to energy, and carbs that you ingest just prior to a workout can get through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream fast enough to get used.

    You can’t go hard for 3 hours only on muscle glycogen consumed the day before.

    Here’s a good start.