Nutrition Advice

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jam5ie76
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Nutrition Advice

Postby jam5ie76 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 17:48 pm

I commute 12 miles each way over hills and country roads about 3 times a week.

In a normal job this wouldn't pose me any issues but my job at the moment often requires me to work 12 to 15 hour shifts 5/6 times a week.

This does tend to leave me a little tired and in busier periods (i.e. April to September) tiring enough to make me cut the number of times I try.

I do get the feeling though if I manage my nutrition better then I wouldn't get as tired and I could maintain my efforts. Long shifts don't bother me but the commute seems to tip the balance.

I was considering an energy source before my ride and an electrolyte drink afterwards and was looking for some advice.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 21:05 pm

Are you sure it's a nutrition problem? A 15 hour shift would knock me out with or without a commute. Maybe it's lack of sleep? I know that's the thing that does me in towards the end of the week - the cumulative late of sleep.
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jam5ie76
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby jam5ie76 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 21:28 pm

Its not a problem as such. Without the cycling I can waltz the long shifts (I've been doing them for years) and so long as I get 8/9 hours sleep I'm fine, . It doesn't leave much time for a social life mind :)

I just reckon if I'm disciplined with my meal times and use some selective nutes then I can do both the long weeks and the commuting a little easier.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Thu Jan 17, 2013 22:00 pm

Fair enough re: sleep.

I'm no expert re: nutrition but I can say what works for me:
1. Muesli for breakfast before I set off to work (some people like breakfast before, others after .. I'm definitely a before)
2. Midday meal + fruit (and cakes) during the working day.
3. Evening meal as soon as I get in.

I always have some diluted orange juice or similar on the bike (usually I'll drink all of it). I may have a choc milkshake after ride in the morning.

As for you having an electrolyte drink after a ride - I thought these where more for taking during exercise and you actually need something with protein in it for it to be a true recovery drink (hence my milkshake).
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jam5ie76
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby jam5ie76 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 22:26 pm

Yeah, I was thinking the re hydration after the ride may help with recovery but I'm probably barking up the wrong tree! I have found guarana supplements to help in the past I may give them a go (and remember to eat lol)

alidaf
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby alidaf » Fri Jan 18, 2013 09:27 am

I wouldn't bother with any off the shelf products. Snack on some nuts during the day and have some peanut butter on toast and a milkshake (eg. Nesquik) when you get home. Sleep well. Identify when you have your circadian dip and avoid cycling during that time if you can - your circadian rhythm may be all over the place if you shift work.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:07 am

Re: Hydration.

Everyone is different but for a short commute like yours I think that unless you running hot then just making sure your hydrated through the day at the very least and you'll be fine.

I do drink on the bike but that's because I:
1. Sweat a lot,
2. Wake up dehydrated, also
3. On the way home I start to run out of energy and energy in my drink can help (even if it's effect is actually pretty marginal and more likely to be in my head)

During the rest of the day I drink on and off all day but will vary this depending on the colour of my pee (it should be clear).

Re: Recovery

If I don't have a milkshake or my tea is going to be late then I usually make a point of grabbing a peanut sandwich. There's a 30-45 minute window after exercise where the body is especially able to take on food for recovery. Now I don't actually know whether that's protein for repairing muscle damage or energy for rebuilding depleted glycogen stores (or both) but it's seems to be the accepted wisdom in this and other sports: when you finish the exercise get some food in you within that 45 minute window.

Re: The Ride itself

You didn't mention the kind of intensity that you do your commute at .. if it's very, very leisurely then I don't see any reason why you can't do that day in, day out. Perhaps the tiredness is from something else?

On my commute I will always go hell for leather if I can. If I feel tired I will usually still do my commute .. but see how it goes. Most times it's actually fine and it's more in my head, other times I discover I have no depth of power at all and so I just switch to recovery mode. Just take it easy and accept that I won't be breaking any records.

So .. I reckon you should be fine doing a 12 mile commute 3 times a week if your happy with the amount of sleep your getting and unless there's some other health reason. The only issue would be if your just starting out but I'm assuming from your posts that this is not the case. If you were just starting out then then you need to build up to these things if your base level of fitness is not high enough in the first place. Perhaps this might still be the case?
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jam5ie76
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby jam5ie76 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 23:08 pm

Thanks very much, some good ideas and thoughts.

I have a decent level of fitness and generally go hard at my commute, I'm lucky enough to live in the country so I only have to stop 3 times so can get a good sustained effort in. I really enjoy that aspect (chiseling away at the Strava leader boards) and I would like to sustain my 3 times a week during the busy months.

From reading your responses, thanks again, I think the best idea is to eat properly; small and often with attention to refueling quickly after my trip in (we have lots of Nutella around so I'm in luck) and wholegrains for lunch. Most importantly I wont bother with any off the shelf products, thank you again, apart from maybe some glucose tablets to help me home, too much junky sugar around work unfortunately.

My only remaining query would be... is refueling after my trip back home as important? I generally jump in the shower then go to bed and have a coffee and banana in the morning.

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DaxPlusPlus
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Re: Nutrition Advice

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Fri Jan 18, 2013 23:43 pm

I think the idea is to top up after every ride (morning and evening) - I don't believe it has to be a meal, just a mix of carbs and protein within a set amount of time after the exercise.

I was curious as to whether there is anything out there about the kind of food to have after a ride and found this link regarding low fat chocolate milk: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2011/06/22/milk_studies/

But that was just after googling for about 5 minutes so hardly conclusive proof :)
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