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Cut the carbs: how a low carb diet can help cyclists

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Cut the carbs: how a low carb diet can help cyclists

Eating a healthy diet is an important part of being an athlete. You need to fuel your body with the right food in order to reach your peak performance, and this is especially true of cyclists. Cycling is a high-energy sport which requires a diet that will help to maintain your energy throughout the day, which is why a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet might be a good choice for you.

It might sound like the opposite of what you have been taught but it is a way of maintaining energy and keeping your cycling nutrition balanced. In order to keep your nutrition levels at their optimum, include a low-carb-high-fat diet in your programme of cycling supplements.

This way, you will be practising good sports nutrition and keeping your health in good nick. Include some of the best protein powder for cyclists and you will soon find your performance reaching new heights. Below are just some of the ways in which a low carb diet can help cyclists.

 

What is the LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet?

The LCHF diet is simple to understand. What it entails is limiting the number of carbohydrates that you eat and increasing your protein and healthy fats intake. Some people limit their carbohydrate intake to only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, while others allow themselves to eat up to 100 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Your body will then use the fat to burn energy, rather than using carbohydrates. Professionals in the sports industry have found that their athletic performance improved while on this diet, as well as their ability to take part in high-intensity exercise. Because your body is using fat to create energy, your body can keep up with the demand for oxygen which makes cycling and other similar exercises easier to perform.

When eating a low carb diet, you will need to increase your intake of protein and fats. This can be done by eating more meats, such as beef, pork, chicken and fish, as well as eating more eggs and cheese. Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes, opting rather for leafy, dark greens and cruciferous vegetables.

 

You can keep going for longer periods

If you want to improve endurance, then the LCHF or a low carb diet could be right for you. This is because your body will become accustomed to using its fat reserves to create energy, and physical activity can continue for longer periods of time, making training for a race easier than before.

While increased endurance is not the only benefit of a low carb diet, it is one that is attractive to many cyclists. This is because the diet helps to lower inflammation, keep stress levels low as well as improve the immune system. When these components are combined and kept at a stable level, you will find that your endurance increases and your energy levels do not flag as they would with high amounts of carbohydrates.

 

Maintain your race weight

Eating a LCHF diet will help you to maintain your optimal race weight, which is ideal for cyclists who race regularly. You can look at various nutrition plans to find a low carb diet that suits your needs but be sure to limit your carbohydrate intake in order to maintain your optimal race weight.

You will be able to keep your muscle mass at a stable level and in the long term, you can remain trim and fit without having to resort to feeling hungry. If you need to lose weight at a healthy rate before a race later in the year, a low carb diet can help immensely. It is not a fad diet that causes you to lose weight instantly but rather a way of life that encourages you to eat healthy fats and slim down at a natural pace.

 

You won’t need ride snacks

Whether you are cycling casually or are a professional athlete, chances are that you enjoy bringing along snacks for your ride to keep your energy high and to fill you up after a strenuous or draining ride. But if you are eating the LCHF way, you will not need as many snacks, or you won’t need snacks at all.

This is because your body becomes “fat adapted” meaning that it has adapted to burning fat for energy, and you will not need to snack on anything to improve your energy. If you will be taking part in a longer ride, you can bring along a snack pack of walnuts or macadamia nuts, as well as biltong and hard cheese. These high-fat snacks will help to fuel your energy in a healthy manner, without the energy crash that many high-carbohydrate snacks bring with them.

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