Protein drinks?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by watson10, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. watson10

    watson10 New Member

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    I've been cycling for 3 years now. I am 42 yrs. old. I am in decent shape, but not great shape. I finished a century ride my first year in 7 hrs 40 minutes, my second year in 7 hrs flat. I ride about 25 to 90 miles a week. My friends tell me protein drink will build my muscle and increase my stamina. Is this true? At present the only thing I consume is Cytomax and carbo gels while riding. I eat fairly healthy already.

    Thanks,

    Tom
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    No, this isn't true, and is one of the biggest myths in sport! Assuming you eat a normal mixed diet (including being a vegetarian, or a well planned vegan diet) then you can *easily* meet and generally way exceed your protein requirements through normal food/diet.

    Protein requirements, for even extremely intense and demanding exercise (i.e., Tour de France) can be met with a normal diet.

    To increase your stamina, and more importantly to increase your fitness then you need to structure your training to meet your goals/demands.

    Ric
     
  3. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Watson:

    Forget about the food and protein drinks, you need to ride a LOT more than you are currently, especially if you want to do well over 100 miles. The consistent accumulation of workouts is what delivers improved cycling performance. Let too much time lapse between workouts, and you will stay at the same level year after year and never improve.

    You need to ride at least 3 times a week for at least an hour ideally. That's an absolute bare minumum, and that's just for recreational riding, not racing. Assuming a 15 mph average speed that's already 45 miles a week. You are going as low as 25 miles a week. Cycling is very time consuming. The only thing riding 25 miles a week will get you is frustrated when you don't have the stamina you need.

    If you work 5 days a week, do a few hour rides during the week, possibly on a trainer after work, and ride for a few hours on your days off. Ideally, save one of your off days for a "long" ride where you go for 3-4 or more hours. If your knees and lower back are good, climb hills at least once a week also. The hills will help more than anything. Climb, climb, climb...

    99.9% of all the pills and potions out there are worthless if you eat normally. The only ergogenic aids that really do work are illegal and are all dangerous to your health. Steroids, amphetamines, and EPO (Erythropoietin, a kidney hormone) will definitely improve performance, but the overall risks could hardly be considered worth it, especially with EPO.

    Your current diet and the Cytomax/gels are fine. Do regular, consistent miles and climb if possible, and you find your overall fitness improve tremendously.

    Good luck!!!
     
  4. watson10

    watson10 New Member

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    Jmat:

    I took your advice and road over 120 miles last week! Very time consuming but a defintie improvement in endurance with no protein drink. Actually just proper eating and water. Thanks again.
     
  5. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Watson10,

    Protein supplements are just that, supplements. They are designed to provide users with pound-for-pound more and "better" (so they say) protein in your diet. They should not be likened to a magic pill as 2-LAP noted and the overall performance benefits for a cyclist are debatable (ricstern). They WILL, however, provide you with protein a cost effective, low calorie dose (powder) and normally require less time to prep and consume.

    The key here is the word DIET. Normal diets for cyclists are not necessarily "normal". Normally one would eat 3 times a day about 500-800 calories a meal. Athletes/Cyclists may consume up to 6 meals a day and depending on the length of their workout consume up to 6,000 calories a day. An excellent balance of carbs, protein and fibers are the bare minimum for survival. Most of us also consume additional amino acids (such as those found in Cytomax etc) and electrolytes like the ones found in other sports drinks. It takes time and devotion to eat the right meals, in the right amounts at the right time. When you can not do that, you reach for supplements/replacement meals.

    A protein drink with banana or protein bar can supplement, or replace, a chicken breast meal with rice. About .6 - .7 * (your weight in lbs.) is a healthy norm for good muscle support and recovery for an athlete. If you are not getting this from your "normal" diet, it would be helpful to:

    1. Start eating/preparing more protein sources for your diet

    or

    2. Supplement with protein powders

    While these diets have a tendency to be abused (Adkins et al.) and the fitness industry is making a mint off marketing the concept, the effects that protein have on a muscles are undeniable. They are the building blocks to muscles and protein does repair muscle tissue and fibers. Protein is not a good energy source as it does not burn well and requires a lot of water to break down.

    Read up more about diet for cyclists and recreational athletes. Protein consumption is just one variable in the equation of healthy eating.

    Ride with Carbs, recover with protein, carbs and fiber.

    Good luck.
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    Nutritional recommendations are to eat a normal diet, but just a greater amount, with maybe a slight shift in the emphasis to greater carbohydrate (as a %) intake.

    If you're eating 6000 kcal per day it would be highly unlikely that you were failing to enough protein, unless you had some sort of bizarre diet (e.g., you ate 6000 kcal per day of sugar).

    You'd also have to be either a very big person or a professional cyclist training massive distance every day (> 7 hrs a day) to require 6000 kcal.

    If you stick with a normal mixed diet, being either a vegetarian, a meat eater etc, you'll be fine. There is no need whatsoever to supplement with protein, or certainly not until you get into mega training.

    Ric
     
  7. Brizza

    Brizza New Member

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    I have been eating a poorly mixed diet and have had protein problems.
    You should be looking to consume 1-1.5g per kg of body mass. Depending on your deit you may have been doing this already.
     
  8. MGSuarez

    MGSuarez New Member

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    The only reason I use Protein drinks is for convenience. If I happen to drive to a ride MTB or Road I keep a cooler in the car to pop a quick shake right after the ride. The sooner the better. Sure you can eat perfectly and train perfectly but, who really does. I just find it easier to pop that shake. I also take the Accelerade drink for my rides. Its the one they claim lance uses. I guess Chris Carmichael had something to do with the formulation. It is suppose to absorb more rapidly than just water or any other carb drink??
     
  9. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    I fully understand the convenience issue, however, recommendations are to consume high glycaemic carbohydrates immediately after exercise, not protein (although a *small* amount of protein might be useful). You should aim for 1.0 - 1.5 g carbohydrate per kg body mass straight after exercise (i.e., a 70 kg person would need 70 - 105 g carb).

    Ric
     
  10. MGSuarez

    MGSuarez New Member

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    I dont know how to quote. Sorry! just to respond to that. I use the Endurox R4 post ride drink that has carbs as well as protein. They claim that their ratios are suppose to absorb the quickest.
     
  11. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    To quote use the "reply" button at the bottom right.

    The Endurox R4, is (as far as i'm aware) a carb drink with protein, rather than a protein drink.

    As regards their claim, there is a paucity of data on such scenarios. It's been hypothesised that a much greater ratio of carb to protein maybe more beneficial, but nothing has yet been tested. As an aside the 4:1 ratio is about the same as normal (mixed) food.

    Ric
     
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