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Should I pay attention to my fiber intake the last days before my cycling race?

Yes, while fiber is a crucial component of a healthy diet, consuming high-fiber foods in excess, especially close to the race, may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Consider reducing high-fiber foods one or two days before the event to minimize the risk of issues during the race.

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Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 17-01-2024
Bowl with tomatoes, bowl with red and green pepper and rice on the background

Why should I pay attention to my fiber intake?

Some individuals may be more sensitive to high-fiber foods, experiencing discomfort or gastrointestinal distress during intense physical activity. Adjusting fiber intake helps mitigate these issues by:

  1. Digestive comfort: High-fiber foods take longer to digest and may cause bloating, gas, or other gastrointestinal issues, especially during physical exertion.
  2. Reducing bulk: Fiber adds bulk to the stool and can increase the frequency of bowel movements. Limiting fiber intake may avoid unexpected bathroom breaks during the race.
  3. Fluid absorption: Fiber absorbs water. Therefore, excessive fiber intake without adequate fluid consumption can lead to dehydration, while maintaining optimal hydration is crucial for race performance.

How do I get my fiber intake before a race on point?

When you never faced any problems with your fiber intake, stick to foods that you are familiar with and that have not caused digestive issues during training in the days leading up to the race. When faced little or more problems, consider using the FoodCoach app to plan your pre race days and structure your meals. Focus on:

  1. Gradual reduction: Carb loading does not stand for “over eating”. Following the energy and carb intake guidelines from FoodCoach helps you to avoid energy imbalance and undesirable changes in body composition.
  2. Swap non-carbs for carbs: Start gradually reducing high-fiber foods a few days before the race, to allow your digestive system to adjust gradually and minimizes the risk of sudden changes.
  3. Swap to low-fiber products: Select lower-fiber alternatives for grains and cereals, like choosing white rice, white bread, and low-fiber cereals instead of their whole grain counterparts.
  4. Limit raw vegetables: Raw vegetables can be higher in fiber. Opt for cooked or steamed vegetables, which are often gentler on the digestive system.
  5. Moderate fruit intake: Choose fruits that are lower in fiber, such as bananas, melons, and berries. Avoid excessive amounts of high-fiber fruits like apples, pears, and citrus fruits.
  6. Stay hydrated: Keep drinking enough water even if you reduce your fiber intake. Adequate hydration can help prevent constipation and contribute to overall digestive comfort.

It's crucial to tailor your fiber intake to your individual needs, activity level, and preferences for the best results. Do you want to discover how managing your fiber intake works in practice? The FoodCoach App will guide you to bring focus and translate your fiber intake into real food and meals.

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Popular low-fiber meals and snacks

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