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Science

Nutrition Library: Calculating Calories for the Bike

Athlete on Bike on a cold day, text "Calculating Calories for the Bike"

New Years resolutions have been set and many are embarking on their first century training program as a result! In order to maximize performance, it is essential to fuel yourself properly during training rides and racing, especially when you are riding longer than 2 hours. As a nutritionist, I have found that many cyclists tend to overestimate actually cycling energy expenditure, causing them to overeat during the day and gain unwanted weight during season. Furthermore, an overzealous calorie intake during training can trigger a multitude of stomach issues (e.g., nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, side stitches, sloshing) and ultimately diminish performance. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you determine your total calorie burn during training rides as well as your target calorie replacement needs after about 90-120 minutes of cycling. Happy riding trails!

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The Sweat Rate Formula | How to Calculate Your Sweat Rate

Man Wiping Sweat from Head, text "Hot to Calculate your Sweat Rate"

Every athlete should know how to calculate their sweat rate in order to have a hydration target. The goal is to see exactly how much dehydration you incur during your workout and in turn, determine your hourly fluid replacement (how much you need to drink). When you are done with this sweat rate formula, you will have a hydration target that you can use in both training and racing.

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Alleviate Stress for Improved Training

Woman stressed text: "Alleviate Stress for Improved Training"

I know that sounds like an obvious statement, but it is still hard to do in everyday life. Even when things are a bit chaotic, most of us seem to under estimate the effects of stress on the body. As athletes we look at our training, equipment, and nutrition in hopes of a faster race and improving our fitness level. However, the majority of us never consider our stress levels. As an athlete stress can hurt your performance in many ways including an increased heart rate and oxygen consumption. It can also harm your exercise efficiency and cause a workout or race to feel tougher than it actually should. Increased muscle tension and reduced leg turnover are also contributed to stress. 

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The Sweat Rate Test

Woman working out text "Sweat rate test"

Sweat Rate Testing. Most athletes this time of year find themselves measuring and analyzing things like VO2 Max, Lactic Threshold, etc. On the hydration side of this is Sweat Rate testing. Understanding the amount of fluids your body uses and loses on a per hour basis can give you a much better understanding of how many ounces of fluids you need to be replacing each of activity. Below is a great way to find what your sweat rate is.

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“Metabolic Efficiency”: Friend or Foe to Performance?

Woman Running with text saying "Metabolic Efficiency: Friend or Foe"

The newest fad being touted as the “secret to success” for endurance training is to train and eat to become “metabolically efficient”.  What exactly does this mean? The term efficiency combined with metabolism sounds like an athlete’s dream, especially to an endurance athlete.  After all, efficiency means to “save energy without waste or unnecessary effort.”  Well, this surely must be the key to success for endurance performance; go as long as possible and waste as little energy as possible.  Unfortunately, this new fad is just that, a FAD! “Metabolic efficiency” training or fueling to enhance performance will come at a cost, a big cost which happens to be your performance.

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Sport Specific Strength

Blog Header "Sport Specific Strength" Man lifting weights.

After you have made some strength gains in the gym, the time is ideal to build sport specific power.  The goal is for the strength gained in the gym to translate into added swim, bike, and run power.  Here are some high resistance intervals you can do in the pool and on the roads to build strength and power for each of the three sports.  As these intervals involve explosive movements, you should be warmed up before beginning them to reduce the risk of injury.  The first time, just do one interval toward the end of your workout.  Assess your body’s response to the first interval to determine how many you will do the next time, and gradually increase the number of intervals.

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