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Bike Chaser has a wide range of nutritional supplements for cycling, such as protein and energy bars, gels, powders and tablets from your local Australian bike shop.
All sports were not created equal, and the diet you require to excel in cycling is certainly very distinct from what you might need in another sport. This is because even though they all use up energy, the stress from different activities is focused on different parts of the body. The distinction is often missed; especially by newbie bike riders, with the result being that they do not get the results they want because the supplements they use do not optimize their bodies specifically for cycling.
Once upon a time, you could only find supplements in tablet or capsule form, but today, supplements are available in a wide variety of forms, including drinks, capsules, gels, powders, and lozenges. That’s a great thing for you because it means that you can experiment with the different types available and find the one that’s best for you to include in your cycling nutrition plan.
Apart from personal preference though, there is a lot of disagreement about which particular forms provide optimal performance. The crux of the debate is often absorption efficiency, which is important because it determines how quickly the nutrients in the supplements get into your bloodstream and begin to act. There are other factors though, and it’s important that you’re aware of them as you decide on which one to incorporate into your nutrition plan for best performance in your cycling.
TABLETS – Generally speaking, tablets are likely to cost less because of the greater ease of manufacture. They also maximize space, meaning that they allow more nutrients to be packed into the same space as other forms. In addition, they hold their potency over very long periods of time and can be made into a very wide variety of shapes and sizes so you’ll definitely find one that suits you.
On the other hand, tablets can be difficult for some people to swallow, especially if they are of large size. They also do not offer very much dosage flexibility when compared with such other forms such as liquids and powders.
CAPLETS – Caplets are tablets too, just that they come in significantly smaller sizes and with very smooth coating to ease swallowing. With this form, people who find it difficult to swallow can get all the benefits of tablets without the stress.
CAPSULES – Capsules are widely used in general medication and for supplements specifically. They have two-piece gelatine covers that contain the nutrients. This composition allows the supplements to be very easy to swallow and for the body to break down and absorb. They also have some flexibility due to how easy it is to open up capsules and mix the powder contents into a protein shake or any other food or drink. For vegetarians or others who do not want to consume meat by-products, some brands like Vita-Caps use gelatine-alternatives to encapsulate the powder.
Capsules tend to cost more than tablets or caplets though, and because they do not have the benefit of compression, they are unlikely to contain as much nutrient as a tablet or caplet of the same size.
SOFT GELS – These are similar to capsules, but with a major distinction in that instead of the two-piece gelatine cover, they are made of a single piece. This gives them an airtight, secure quality that makes them particularly good for liquid or oil-based formulas. Being airtight also means they have exceptionally long shelf lives, though you give up some flexibility when it comes to dosing.
BARS – These are energy-dense bars that are composed of carbohydrates and varying amounts of protein, fat and micronutrients. One major plus with bars is that they have the greatest variation of ingredients and nutritional content, meaning that you can find bars to suit your particular needs, in terms of your energy needs and personal peculiarities such as lactose or caffeine tolerance.
Cycling nutrition bars are quite portable, though definitely not as much as tablets or capsules, but still enough to be carried and taken as you ride. They are also very filling, so they’ll be very helpful for longer events or any situation in which hunger is an issue.
POWDERS – Powders are likely to be the cheapest form of nutrients you’ll come across in your search on Bike Chaser. They offer great flexibility since you can regulate the dosage down to the last gram, depending on the measurement method you use. You’ll be sacrificing some convenience though, since you have to mix powders into a liquid, shake or food.
For a cyclist, your use of powders will have to be limited to pre-race or post-race since it’s impractical to take powders while cycling.
CYCLING DRINKS – Many people prefer drinks because of the belief that they absorb very quickly. They do, but the degree to which they surpass other forms is still the subject of research and a lot of arguments as to the best diet for cyclists. One thing is certain though: Sports Drinks are very convenient to take and offer a great deal of control when it comes to dosing.
The drawback they have is that they are not very portable, and that weight difference will be particularly significant when you’re riding long distances. As the kilometres pass, every gram of weight will become increasingly noticeable and might affect your performance over time.
Read The Label Thoroughly – As with any other kind of food or medication, it’s important that you have very thorough knowledge of what exactly you’ll be taking into your body. The descriptions here at Bike Chaser are very thorough for exactly that reason, so be sure to take advantage.
Eat Before You Get Hungry – Actually, this applies both to eating and drinking. The process of fatigue due to hunger and dehydration begins long before the sensation becomes noticeable. Eating early will get the calories into your system early and drinking regularly will prevent dehydration.
Refuel After Every Ride – Taking a carbohydrate-rich meal or supplements after a ride will help facilitate the recovery process and keep your muscles ready for more exertion.