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How to Eat Optimally For Cycling as You Grow Older

There was a recent article in CyclingWeekly (UK) that outline a few essential points on aging and exercise

Essential points

  • You may require fewer calories as you get older
  • You’ll need more protein to offset age-related muscle loss and ‘anabolic resistance’
  • Consuming omega-3 fats and vitamin D becomes more important
  • Thirst becomes a less reliable indicator of your fluid needs

While the article had a lot of information and links to other articles I had read, the key points were:

Do: eat 30-40g protein at each meal. Get this from a medium-sized (125g) chicken or turkey breast, a (150g) fish fillet, one small tin (120g) tuna, four large eggs, or 400ml whey protein shake.

Do: fill up on low-calorie, high-volume foods like vegetables and fruits to maximise your diet’s nutritional density and water and fibre content.

Do: estimate how much fluid you need to drink during exercise by calculating your sweat rate — the difference between your pre- and post-workout weight. Divide your hourly sweat rate by four to give you a guideline for how much to drink every 15 minutes.

Do: refuel with protein and carbohydrate within 30-60 minutes of completing any long or hard ride. As you grow older, recovery from hard workouts takes longer.

Do: boost vitamin D and omega-3 — aim for one portion of salmon, mackerel or sardines a week, or one tablespoon of flaxseeds, chia seeds or walnuts daily.

Don’t: eat less than 20 per cent of your calories in fat form, otherwise you risk deficient intakes of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Aim for mono and unsaturated fats from oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil.

Don’t: go to bed on empty. Studies at Maastrict University found that muscle protein synthesis was 22 per cent higher in athletes who consumed 40g of casein protein after a resistance workout and before sleep.

Don’t: go overboard with supplements. High doses of vitamins C and E may actually reduce beneficial adaptations to training.

You can read more by looking at the full article, I just saved the points I am trying to work with now.