Cycling Supplements: Health Boosters You Can Trust


If you don’t feel good enough just a healthy and balanced diet, let’s take a look at some dietary supplements for cyclists that could improve your performance.

After a few years of riding, most cyclists wonder what, how and when to ride a bike, but when it comes to food supplements, there is a lot of confusion. Given the many stories of "accidental" doping and concerns about side effects (even if they are only felt in the wallet), it is understandable that cyclists are cautious.

There are many possible sports supplements - powders, tablets and capsules - that may seem to have a special effect, but with little scientific evidence. However, there are others that can help cyclists feel healthier or actually increase their performance.

Anita Bean, The author of The Complete Sports Nutrition Guide, comments: “The vast majority of sports supplements have no evidence to support their claims. They are unnecessary at best, harmful or illegal at worst. That said, there are several products supported by the peer-reviewed research suite. "

Food supplements for cyclists, which we believe are the right choice and ways to use them.


1. Whey Protein (Whey)

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy used for cycling. However, during exercise, the muscle fibers break down, especially if the pedaling time is intense. You become stronger as they recover, and protein uptake helps facilitate what we call muscle protein synthesis — in other words, recovery and adaptation.

Protein is in the food - in 100 g of chicken breast you will find 31 g, 19 g of chickpeas of the same weight and 13 g in a large egg.

However, whey protein powder allows you to consume high-quality protein quickly and easily - and you’ll know exactly how much you’re consuming.

You can mix it with milk and fruit to get a cocktail, or cook your morning porridge with a spoon.

There are many options for protein powder - soy, egg, casein - but whey is a milk protein that is formed as a by-product of cheese making. It is said to be particularly popular because it contains "a concentration of essential amino acids that support muscle recovery, including the amino acid leucine, an important stimulant that promotes muscle strengthening after exercise."

You can get enough protein from food, but Bean says, “Choose whey supplements if you don’t get enough protein from your diet - [although that’s usually not likely] - or as a convenient alternative to food after a workout. "

The amount of protein you need varies greatly depending on how active you are and what you do - a cyclist spending time in the gym will damage more muscle fibers than a motorcyclist who requires endurance.

Recommendations range from 1,2 g / kg body weight to 2,2 g / kg. However, the clear one is that your body cannot effectively consume more than 0,3 g / kg or 20 g (whichever comes first) at one time.


2. Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine has been widely confirmed to have a positive effect on repetitive sprints and power surges, and is used by track cyclists as well as road cyclists seeking extra energy.

The optimal dose is about 3 g per day, but Bean warns: “[it is best] to divide into several smaller doses, e.g. 4 x 0,8 g for four to six weeks, followed by a maintenance dose of 1,2 g daily.

"High doses (greater than 0,8 g) can cause side effects such as paresthesia (skin tingling), which are fortunately harmless, short-lived and can be avoided with lower doses."

Beta-alanine is actually famous for causing a strange tingling sensation all over the skin. Doses can be reduced. It is not easy to take a 1 g dose of white powder throughout the working day. You can buy capsules or take a dose in one go and experience a strange sensation that usually lasts about an hour.


3. Creatine

Creatine is found naturally in food - you will find about 2 g in red meat and 4,5 g in salmon.

However, you can use it as an additional form - and it is widely used by athletes for whom strength and power are important.

“Creatine supplements increase phosphocreatine, a high-energy compound made from creatine and phosphorus, in muscles that stimulate muscles during high-intensity exercises such as sprinting or weight lifting. The biggest improvements are the effort-intensive high-power output effort. That's why it's popular with track cyclists, "says Bean.

The most discussed side effect of creatine is weight gain, “partly due to extra water in the muscle cells and partly due to the increased muscle tissue,” says Bean.

Therefore, it is not recommended for those for whom the weight to weight ratio is very important.

There are several dosage options - you can load 0,3 g / kg body weight for up to a week - by taking four equal doses a day. Alternatively, the loading phase may be closer to 2-3g / kg for 3-4 weeks. After the loading phase, you can reduce this to 0,03 g / kg per day.

It doesn't work for everyone, "anecdotally, some people are known to be unresponsive." It could be because of a diet high in meat and where the body is already saturated with dietary creatine before supplementation, "says Bean. .

Another supplement popular among trajectories is sodium bicarbonate, which is thought to prevent the accumulation of lactic acid for one to 10 minutes. The recommended dose is about 0,2 g / kg a few hours before the competition. However, there is little research on the benefits and the possible side effects on the stomach are easy to imagine, so those who compete in longer races should avoid it altogether.



If you decide to include one of these well-researched supplements in your diet, make sure it comes from a trusted brand - check the label before you buy if you don’t want to fall victim to doping with illegal products.

Beana says, “If you are subject to anti-doping rules, make sure your supplements come from a reputable company that provides a certificate confirming that a recognized sports anti-doping laboratory has verified that it is banned for contaminants. Look for the Informed-Sport logo on the label and check the shipment number on the Informed-Sport website, ”she says.

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