Sufferlandrians rejoice! The Tour of Sufferlandria is in full swing, which means that Sufferlandrians are embracing the opportunity to truly show the world what we’re made of. A chance to spill holy water like a burst water main, to void the warranty on your cycling knicks and shred some chamois.
And now, with Stages 8 & 9 o the doorstep, it's time to dial in the nutrition to avoid a major bonk in pursuit of Honour, Glory & VICTORY! Sports nutritionist Alan McCubbin has some advice on how to properly fuel your body for the best Return on Suffering.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS ONE CAN SUFFER
We introduced the concept of ROS in Eating to Suffer and today I’ll briefly summarise the concepts needed to maximise your ROS during your big days in the saddle.
From a nutrition perspective we need to consider three things:
FUELLING THE FURNACE
At high intensities, carbohydrate is the predominate fuel source. The reason is that carbohydrate produces energy more quickly, and with less oxygen than fat.
If your goal is weight loss, or managing diabetes, or for another reason you can’t or won’t go near starch and sugar, then this may indeed be a legitimate approach. But for those who want to truly maximise ROS, then carbs will be your friend.
So carbs are good, but how many carbs, and when? Let’s talk carb-loading:
Of course your nutrition on the bike will also make a big difference here too. We’ve all seen the pros blow up on a climb in a grand tour, admitting afterwards they forgot to eat. Don’t be that rider.
Plan your carbs to consume during the workout. Big rides mean MAXIMUM carbs on the bike. That’s about 60-90 grams an hour if you can tolerate it.
REPLACING HOLY WATER
It’s no secret that you’re going to shed holy water, and lots of it. It’s a beautiful thing. So the question becomes – how much Holy Water do you need to replace?
Here are my top tips for maximum ROS:
There’s a whole range of dietary supplements on the market that claim to improve cycling performance. We’ve provided a run down on the ones that have scientific support in Eating to Suffer. One thing to note is that some of these supplements like beta-alanine take weeks of “loading” before they’re of any use to you. So if you haven’t taken them yet then there’s no point in starting now.
Others however can be used as a one-off, or with only a few days notice. These include nitrate (contained in beetroot juice), caffeine and sodium bicarbonate. All of these supplements have potential side effects however, so my advice here would be to only use supplements that you’ve used before and you know you will tolerate.
So remember, maximise your ROS by
Eating to Suffer by Next Level Nutrition’s Alan McCubbin is a 27 page guide to helping you achieve the maximum Return On Suffering by making the right dietary choices. With chapters on preparing for specific workouts, weight loss, how to eat for a Knighthood Quest and more, Eating to Suffer is a key part of any Sufferlandrians high intensity, low volume training regime. Eating to Suffer is a free download for app subscribers.
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