Whether you overindulged a little over the holiday, or just wanted to get to grips with what should be going into your body this year, Annie Simpson, performance nutritionist at sports nutrition company, OTE, shares some quick tips for nailing your nutrition in 2020.
Hydrate hydrate hydrate
When you’re busy on the bike, there’s no doubt you’ll be sweating a serious amount and it’s basic instinct to reach for that water bottle. However, a lot of us neglect drinking water throughout the day, whereas we should be aiming to drink at least 1.5 litres.
“Sporting performance aside, dehydration can negatively affect our mental performance and our mood!” Annie says, “So, from neglecting your fluid, you could endure a bad day at work, where you just can’t concentrate, then go home to underperform in your evening training session too!
The answer? Annie recommends getting your hands on a reusable bottle and keeping it close to you during the day. To increase your intake even further, pop in one of OTE’s Hydrotabs and allow the electrolytes to aid rehydration.
Prioritise gut health
An easy one to overlook, or not even consider at all, Annie suggests getting your gut health on your radar this year.
“When we’re exercise, our gut has to take a back seat whilst our cardiac and respiratory system utilise our blood flow. It’s no wonder really that we can often get stomach upset when pushing our body to its limits.” She adds that OTE products are designed to be kind on the stomach. “[The gut] is actually key to our immune system, regulating inflammation and also it’s the key place our food is turned into energy; look after it and it will look after you.
To help keep on top of your gut health, Annie recommends OTE’s Super Green’s Supplement.
Learn the difference between snacks and treats
The good news is snacking doesn’t have to be considered bad, as long as it’s done with purpose. “Adding healthy snacking to your day is vital to keep energy and metabolism consistent,” Annie explains, but it comes with a word of warning, “Snack choices need to be healthy and functional if you want them to contribute to fuelling your sport, improving muscle recovery, managing weight and boosting mental performance.”
For easy, healthy snacking, try fresh fruit, greek yoghurt and cereal or a flapjack. Aim for 2-4 small snacks a day depending on your activity load.
According to Annie, underfuelling is incredibly common when training. “Fuelling won’t make you (win), but it will break you if ignored. Text books would say optimal fuelling would be consuming 60g of carbohydrates every hour during moderate to intense exercise. So over a 4 hour ride, in OTE product terms, that would look like:
You don’t necessarily have to optimally fuel every single training session, and for any sessions under 90 minutes, your body should have enough carbohydrate stores to cope. But if you’re sat here thinking “maybe I don’t eat enough when I’m training”, next time you go for a long ride or run, why not take an extra banana, energy bar or gel and just see how you feel.
For more information about keeping a balanced diet throughout your training, read our guide to eating like a Wattbiker.
Don’t forget, nutrition is only one part of staying fit and healthy. To avoid injury when you’re putting your body under stress it’s important to know how to build a bulletproof body for cycling.