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How to fuel for workouts and improve performance with high carbohydrate products, Maurten, SwissRX, Superfuel, HotShot, Ketones.

Swami's Cycling Club: fueling considerations for all athletes

The history of the club involves a 20+yr run as an active club and cycling hub. Swami is the name of a beach where it was founded and they started as a race club with weekly rides. Now, they host a fondo/century once a year alongside having 300 members across the map.

Here are some highlights from a webinar with our very own Head Coach, Brandon.


Nutritional rule of thumb: 45min or less you won’t need in-activity fueling because your stored muscle and liver glycogen won’t run out. After 1.5hr, 2hr + then you will want to be mindful of fueling your activity.

The biggest mistake athletes make:

  1. they’re under-fueling and/or
  2. taking bigger boluses of food every half or full hour. We recommend smaller amounts every 15min.

At max intensity you can burg 4-6g/carb a minute...so you will burn through stores quite fast!

Effects of Under-fueling:

Short-term effect: cruddy feeling training session or race.

Long-term effect: less recovery and therefore an undermined ability to increase load (volume and/or intensity) overtime.

Current Carbohydrate Fueling Recommendations

Two-three days out you should begin increasing your carb intake to optimize storage.

For the morning of, eating 2-3hrs prior to event is best. IF you don’t have time, then the simpler the fuel the better. Eating and then getting out the door 30-45min later can actually be harmful to performance as you are beginning exercise with a corresponding raise in insulin. This can cause a larger drop in blood glucose.

Q: How do you stay ahead of your fueling as a bigger athlete?

1-2 gels worth of carbohydrates right before your event will help establish a good blood glucose level to start. Maurten has great options and their Gel 100 is top-knotch.

Additionally, the intake per hour is relative to each athlete’s ability to handle the fuel. For example, our goal may be 90g/hr but you may only be able to handle 40g/hr currently. One way to increase your intake of carbohydrates is by mixing sources with fructose and maltodextrin/glucose.

Q: How would you fuel for your goal(s) if they are oriented around training and improving day-to-day volume, not necessarily racing?

You would want to target your bigger, more important training days as if they’re events with regard to fueling. So, if you adequately fuel for a big training day and can push the load on that session then you are reaping more benefits from it. However, under-fueling a training session may leave you less satiated and/or lead to binge-eating.

With back-to-back sessions, while protein is valuable it is more important to get glycogen stores replenished immediately after a session. Average rule of thumb is 1.2g/kg of weight after the ride. Depending on the effort that recommendation could extend out to 2-4hrs post effort. SwissRX Total Recovery is a great option for an all-encompassing recovery food/supplement.

Be as deliberate as you can with everything you put in your mouth. Ask: will this help me with my goal(s)? Will this assist my performance?

Q: If you finish a ride and have another within 8-12hrs, what do you do with regard to nutrition?

Using the night before the big session, morning of, and the night following to be dilligent –with regard to fueling– can be helpful.

Sleep: sleep can be a vital part of the recovery process and thus being aware of how you prepare for it can be helpful. For example, if you’re doing a late training session and then eating until 9pm and aiming to get in bed at 10, you may still be experiencing some of the effects of training + eating and not be able to get into a restful state.

Q: What considerations should we have for caffeine consumption?

Caffeine is known for improving performance, if your body tolerates it. The latest research actually indicates we need substantially more than expected for performance. We are seeing that .4 .6mg / kg of body weight is the target.

Timing needs to be a focal point as you don’t want to be taking caffeine on in the evening for late sessions as that will linger into your sleep preparation.

Q: When doing high carbohydrate drink mixes, do we also need to have hydration coming on board as well?

It’s somewhat dependent on the heat and environmental factors of your event. If you are competing in hot temperatures then it may help to have some additional water or electrolyte mix with you.

Additionally, knowing your “sweat rate” can be helpful to determining how much fluid you lose and what your needs are.

Also, the type of ride may influence where you get your carbohydrates. A rough gravel ride or mountain bike ride can often be harder to eat on, so having more calories inside a bottle can be beneficial.

Q: What amount of sodium/electrolytes will help with reducing cramps?

The latest research indicates that cramping can be related to a variety of factors including sodium loss, but not limited to it. Simply taking on a demand greater than your body is prepared for can lend itself to cramping.

One product we carry, HotShot, can really save you when you’re in a tight spot with cramps.

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The Feed. / Tuesday, April 19, 2022