Nutrition

Nine Tips for Eating and Drinking During Winter Rides

Eating and drinking regularly is important year-round for a fun, successful ride. It's easy in the summer. You pull out a bottle or something from a jersey pocket and drink or eat on the bike. When it is colder and wetter, your nutrition may be less accessible, but you still need it! In fact, you need even more: In colder weather, add 10% to 20% to your caloric burn rate. You also need the same amount of hydration no matter the season: Follow this rule year-round: drink to satisfy your thirst.

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Still Pedaling Off The Pounds

Season 5 of the Des Moines Cycle Club’s (DMCC) Pedal Off the Pounds Program is in the record books. For the past five years, since I wrote the eBook Pedal Off The Pounds for RBR, my local bike club has been conducting a program by the same name to help get people back on their bikes, eating right, and losing weight. Based along the same lines as the "Biggest Loser" TV show (except no one gets voted off the ranch), participants get together weekly for weigh-ins, educational and fun programs, and bike rides together.

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Dementia Linked to Excess Belly Fat

We have known for many years that having a big belly is associated with increased risk for heart attacks, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disability and premature death. We now also have data that links having a large belly to increased risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating way to spend your last years. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 24 million people in the world live with dementia, with 4.6 million new cases each year.

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Breakfast – What to Eat and When, Part 2

RBR Premium Member Steve Fenn wrote us recently, asking a series of great questions that apply to all roadies. The gist of his line of questions is, What should you eat before you go for a big ride or event? The answers to Steve's series of questions lie in the context of your nutrition both before and during a ride. Rather than thinking of a bolus of calories at 0-dark-30, think of a flow of calories starting a week before and continuing through to the end of the event. Coach John Hughes provides detailed nutritional advice both last week and this week to answer Steve's salient questions. 

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Breakfast Skippers Have More Plaques

A new study surveyed more than 4,000 adults ages 40 to 54 about their breakfast habits and then checked them for heart attack risk factors. The researchers found that people who eat a large percentage of their total daily calories for breakfast have the fewest heart attack risk factors, while those who skip breakfast are more likely to have plaques in their arteries and other heart attack risk factors (J of the Am Coll of Cardiology, Oct 2, 2017). 

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Breakfast – What to Eat and When, Part 1

RBR Premium Member Steve Fenn wrote us recently, asking a series of great questions that apply to all roadies. The gist of his line of questions is, What should you eat before you go for a big ride or event? The answers to Steve's series of questions lie in the context of your nutrition both before and during a ride. Rather than thinking of a bolus of calories at 0-dark-30, think of a flow of calories starting a week before and continuing through to the end of the event. Coach John Hughes provides detailed nutritional advice both this week and next to answer Steve's salient questions.

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What You Should Know About Electrolytes

On average, if you are riding in moderate conditions each hour you’ll produce 600 to 800 ml (21 to 27 fl. oz.) of sweat! In extreme conditions, you could easily produce 32 fl. oz. (1 quart, or 1 liter) or more of sweat per hour. Sodium is the primary electrolytes lost in sweat, along with some potassium. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), if your ride is less than four hours, you probably don’t need to supplement with electrolytes unless your jersey is caked with salt or you cramp. If your ride is longer than four hours, then additional sodium and potassium are recommended.

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Nature Breaks and Dehydration

Watching the Tour de France, every so often you'll hear commentator Phil Liggett say that the riders have stopped for a "nature break," and the camera pans to something else. Maybe you've noticed that during a multi-hour race the riders will only stop once or twice. A reader, Andy, emailed me about nature breaks: “I learned how little time one of my friends, Mike, was off the bike during a recent 12-hour race. He reported that he was off the bike just two minutes out of 12 hours! With no scientific data, it seems to me that toxins should to be flushed more frequently.”

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Energy Drinks Can Have Negative Side Effects

Energy drinks can raise blood pressure and may cause irregular heartbeats, according to a recent study conducted at Travis Air Force Base in California (Journal of the American Heart Association, April 26, 2017;6(5)). This extremely well-planned, -performed and -controlled study shows that two hours after drinking 32 ounces (four cups) of a popular energy drink, some of the healthy volunteers developed irregular heartbeats (corrected QT interval) and elevated systolic blood pressure.

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Red Yeast Rice Pills May Not Deliver Desired Protection

People who take red yeast rice pills to lower their cholesterol levels may not be getting their expected protection against suffering a heart attack. North Americans spend an estimated $40 million a year on these pills. Harvard professor Pieter Cohen tested 28 brands of red yeast rice supplements purchased at major U.S. retail chains, such as GNCs and Walgreens, for levels of the active ingredient monacolin K, which is identical to the prescription statin cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, June 23, 2017). He found that:

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How Excess Salt Affects You

Two excellent recent studies from Germany and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee tell us that us excess salt: causes hunger, rather than thirst; breaks down muscle and fat; may be a primary dietary factor in the high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes in North America because it raises blood levels of adrenal hormones (cortisol) (Journal of Clinical Investigation, April 17, 2017). The common belief is that increasing salt intake increases urination and the more you urinate, the more fluid you have to drink to replace the fluid that you have lost. However, that's not the case. 

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