Pasta as fuel for cycling



danny shep

New Member
Jun 20, 2007
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I have been eating pasta for my main meal for a while now, as i eat most of my protein during the working day, and have found that i now tend to suffer less on the bike regardless of how hard i push myself. This may purely be in my head but i feel that since i started really watching what i put into my body, such as eating around 25g of protein 4 times a day at three hour intervals, my cycling perfomance has definitely improved and i have the users of this foum to thank for that as any changes i have made have generally been prompted by suggestions and ideas from this very board.
Further to this I would like to ask if eating white pasta after exercise and wholewheat at all other times is the nutritionally correct thing to do as i have been following this dictat and it seems to work for me.
Also do any of you think there is a makrked difference in the benefits of fresh pasta over dried pasta as regards general health and any effects on cycling perfomance.
Last of all i'd love to hear some suggestions of what to eat with the pasta to make it tasty. I currently eat my pasta with dollops of tomato pasta sauces but am open to other ideas.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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Pasta is great, but there are lots of ways to get carbs in your diet and variety is a good thing too. Getting the right kind of calories in roughly the right proportions(carbs, fat, protein) is the starting point for fueling exercise, but don't forget the role of nutrients in nutrition. IOW don't ignore things like vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, phytonutrients, etc. From that standpoint whole wheat pastas tend to have a bit more fiber(check the package, it isn't always true) but adding other whole food carb sources will tend to bring more nutrients into the picture.

Grilled fresh vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, black beans, white beans, lentils, potatoes, barley.... There are a lot of sources for carbs out there and mixing it up a bit can pay off with a more diverse supply of nutrients and also make your meals more interesting. The closer you can start to whole foods vs. packaged and processed the better but either way mix it up a bit.

As for pasta sauces, try an olive oil and garlic and basil pesto or start with grilled or sauteed vegetables like onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, zuchini, eggplant, squash, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, etc. as an addition to whatever pasta sauce you like. About half our meals start with sauteing onion and garlic and then adding whatever fresh vegatables we have on hand. That easily becomes a pasta sauce by adding your favorite red sauce or pesto or throw some white, black, pinto or other beans or some potatoes into the mix and use it as a carb loaded side along with some fish, chicken or other main protein course. This time of year those veggies get a coating of olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe some balsamic vinegar and get tossed into the veggie wok and onto the grill along with some other main course. In the cold winter months we'll oven roast 'em along with a chicken for an easy home cooked meal.

This is really easy cooking and has a ton of variety because it changes with whatever we have in the house and we can always play around with different seasonings to change things up. I give all credit to my wife who slowly got me to come around to her way of cooking. Very few recipes, but a lot of good stuff in a pan, on the grill or in the oven. Keeping fresh vegetables in the house, especially a good supply of onions and garlic as well as some olive oil are key but I eat much better, we both spend less time in the kitchen and we have a lot of diversity in our meals.

Anyway, good job on recognizing the importance of feeding yourself for your activities. Just take it a step further and feed yourself for long term health as well.

Good luck,
Dave
 

jamesstout

New Member
Nov 7, 2006
91
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daveryanwyoming said:
Pasta is great, but there are lots of ways to get carbs in your diet and variety is a good thing too. Getting the right kind of calories in roughly the right proportions(carbs, fat, protein) is the starting point for fueling exercise, but don't forget the role of nutrients in nutrition. IOW don't ignore things like vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, phytonutrients, etc. From that standpoint whole wheat pastas tend to have a bit more fiber(check the package, it isn't always true) but adding other whole food carb sources will tend to bring more nutrients into the picture.

Grilled fresh vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, black beans, white beans, lentils, potatoes, barley.... There are a lot of sources for carbs out there and mixing it up a bit can pay off with a more diverse supply of nutrients and also make your meals more interesting. The closer you can start to whole foods vs. packaged and processed the better but either way mix it up a bit.

As for pasta sauces, try an olive oil and garlic and basil pesto or start with grilled or sauteed vegetables like onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, zuchini, eggplant, squash, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, etc. as an addition to whatever pasta sauce you like. About half our meals start with sauteing onion and garlic and then adding whatever fresh vegatables we have on hand. That easily becomes a pasta sauce by adding your favorite red sauce or pesto or throw some white, black, pinto or other beans or some potatoes into the mix and use it as a carb loaded side along with some fish, chicken or other main protein course. This time of year those veggies get a coating of olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe some balsamic vinegar and get tossed into the veggie wok and onto the grill along with some other main course. In the cold winter months we'll oven roast 'em along with a chicken for an easy home cooked meal.

This is really easy cooking and has a ton of variety because it changes with whatever we have in the house and we can always play around with different seasonings to change things up. I give all credit to my wife who slowly got me to come around to her way of cooking. Very few recipes, but a lot of good stuff in a pan, on the grill or in the oven. Keeping fresh vegetables in the house, especially a good supply of onions and garlic as well as some olive oil are key but I eat much better, we both spend less time in the kitchen and we have a lot of diversity in our meals.

Anyway, good job on recognizing the importance of feeding yourself for your activities. Just take it a step further and feed yourself for long term health as well.

Good luck,
Dave
its good to try making your own pasta then you can add spinach or tomato to the dough.

good sauces include evoo and garlic, red/green pesto, lemon tuna and capers a homemade bechamel and lean beef mince, bolognaise, cottage cheese (nice with pesto) parmesan, chicken and pesto, clams and white wine, olives and roasted veg etc etc
 

j.r.hawkins

New Member
Jan 13, 2007
229
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I lurve pasta :) , but I discovered I have an intolerance for tomatoes.

Small amounts in things like tomato and BBQ ketchup are OK, but sundried, or fresh tomatos and pasta sauces intermittently set me off with paralysing and excruciating abdominal cramps. :eek:

Creamy pasta sauces are OK every once in a while, but I'd like a low fat alternative to tomato bases that might work as a stir-thru with minced beef the rest of the family might enjoy. Any simple recipe suggestions would be fantastic.

TIA :D
 

cricketk

New Member
Jun 14, 2007
50
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0
Most olive oil based sauces for pasta actually go a long, long way, so you're not too badly off using something like a pesto - you just have to really, really like your pasta, because pesto is more of a flavouring than a sauce.

If you're willing to think of your pasta as 'noodles' instead, you can do a whole heap of stuff using soy/tamari sauce and/or teriyaki sauce and/or hoisin sauce as a base. I personally prefer chicken or pork mince and plenty of fresh veg with those sauces.

Depending on the time of year use a mix of squishy veggies (squash/zucchini etc), hard veggies (carrots, cauliflower etc) and crisp veggies (capsicum, beans etc). Partially cook any hard veggies (in the microwave, or blanched in boiling water), brown the meat and then toss everything in a pot with a few good squirts of whichever sauce and a splash or two of water. Cook till just done, add any fresh herbs you might like and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, serve over noodles/spaghetti/whatever pasta shape you happen to like.

Cheers,
K

j.r.hawkins said:
I lurve pasta :) , but I discovered I have an intolerance for tomatoes.

Small amounts in things like tomato and BBQ ketchup are OK, but sundried, or fresh tomatos and pasta sauces intermittently set me off with paralysing and excruciating abdominal cramps. :eek:

Creamy pasta sauces are OK every once in a while, but I'd like a low fat alternative to tomato bases that might work as a stir-thru with minced beef the rest of the family might enjoy. Any simple recipe suggestions would be fantastic.

TIA :D
 

jamesstout

New Member
Nov 7, 2006
91
0
0
j.r.hawkins said:
I lurve pasta :) , but I discovered I have an intolerance for tomatoes.

Small amounts in things like tomato and BBQ ketchup are OK, but sundried, or fresh tomatos and pasta sauces intermittently set me off with paralysing and excruciating abdominal cramps. :eek:

Creamy pasta sauces are OK every once in a while, but I'd like a low fat alternative to tomato bases that might work as a stir-thru with minced beef the rest of the family might enjoy. Any simple recipe suggestions would be fantastic.

TIA :D
how about roasted veggies, cottage cheese, roasted and pureed red peppers, tuna lemon and caper, a bechamel using lowfat cheese and milk if you insist. broccoli chilli and almonds, eggs (pasta omlette is really good and an italian tradition. ricotta is good too
 

UCI_Aylwin

New Member
Apr 29, 2007
18
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Too bad that pasta is really high on calories! It takes a while for me to get full compared to bread.
 

rockrock513

New Member
Nov 5, 2003
24
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pasta rocks! wyoming is right about getting carbs from different sources for sure. i think that pasta used to give me a mental edge, but now that i'm making sure i get plenty of carbs in other forms and i'm still feeling like the legs are well fed. i am also back to eating/drinking more carbs on the bike. the more topped off i am the better i ride....
oh no...i may have to go back to pasta every day now to see if i get a new edge...hahahha mental or not i'll take it!
man i'm hungry now after reading all the recipes! ahh who am i kidding...i'm always hungry :p