Key Nutrients To Maximize The Health Benefits Of Cycling

If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your cardio routine, consider taking up cycling. Not only does it help you lose calories, but it also comes with a ton of other health benefits. It’s a great stress reliever, and it is also considered a low-impact activity since it’s easier on your joints and causes less strain and injuries.

There are solid science backing cycling’s health benefits, as studies show that commuters who cycle to work have a 46% lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and they have a lower risk of developing cancer as well. To further increase the benefits of cycling, you also need to consider the food and supplements that you take.

What, then, are the specific food groups that you need to focus on to maximize the benefits that you get out of cycling?

Protein and Protein Supplements

To really reap the benefits of cycling, it is important for cyclists to consume enough protein. This is particularly important for muscle repair and building, without which your muscles can go into a catabolic state where they break down and lose their overall mass.

As a general rule, you would need somewhere between 20 to 40 grams of high-quality protein in your diet to ensure that your muscles fully recover and rebuild themselves. You can get this from food like chicken breast, chickpeas, or eggs. You can also supplement your protein intake by consuming whey protein, but be sure to get it from trusted brands if you’re planning to take supplements to enhance your health.

Taking whey protein helps your body absorb high-quality protein at a faster rate, and since there’s a recommended amount for it, you know exactly how much you’re taking whenever you add it to your food or drink.

Vitamins and Minerals

Given the amount of energy that cycling requires, cyclists do require higher levels of energy-producing and muscle-mending nutrients. For instance, science shows that increasing the vitamin D levels in your blood to 75-100 mnol/L can improve your aerobic capacity and power as well as shorten your recovery time after a strenuous period of exercise.

Similarly, vitamin E can improve your lung health, which is critical for cyclists whose lungs are typically overworked during cycling sessions. Aside from these, cyclists also need vitamin C, magnesium, and iron. While these can be found in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, multivitamins and supplements can also aid in ensuring that cyclists get the right amount of nutrients they need.

Coffee and Other Caffeine Sources

For most of us, coffee is mostly needed to start our day. However, for cyclists, especially those who competitively engage in this activity, caffeine provides critical support when it comes to boosting their performance and decreasing muscle strain.

Science shows that cyclists who ingest 0.7mg/kg of caffeine 70 minutes before cycling show improvement in their performance. However, drinking coffee may not be for everyone; fortunately, there are also other excellent sources of caffeine, some of which are specifically designed for cyclists. For instance, there are also caffeinated chewing gums, mouth rinses, and energy gels.

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    Cycling is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. However, you might not get the most out of cycling if you don’t fuel your body with the right kinds of food. As with any other physical exercise, cycling should be complemented by a healthy diet that is specifically designed to provide you with the right nutrients that you need.

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    Key Nutrients To Maximize The Health Benefits Of Cycling — Bike Hacks