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Should I consider the type of carbs in my post-cycling meal to boost recovery?

Yes, considering the types of carbs after cycling allows you to customize your recovery strategy based on the characteristics of your ride and time to recover. This optimization can lead to improved recovery.

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Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 22-05-2024
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Why is the type of carbs after cycling relevant?

Carb-rich foods that are processed faster have been suggested to be preferable over slower-digested carb-rich foods to optimize post-exercise glycogen replenishment, mediated by higher insulin responses. This is particularly relevant after a high-intensity training session or a race, where glycogen stores are depleted, and there is a short recovery time between two exercise sessions.

How do I get the type of carbs in my meal after cycling on point?

Carbs in foods can be ranked according to how they are processed and consequently affect blood glucose levels, known as the Glycemic Index (GI). In general, low-GI carb sources, cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose compared to high-GI foods. You may use this principle to customize your recovery strategy based on the time available to recover:

  1. (<24 hours): recovery time period: Opt for high-GI carb sources after exercise, that are more easy to digest. Easy digestible, high-GI sources cause a more rapid increase in blood sugar and may promote muscle glycogen synthesis.
  2. >24 hours recovery time period: Opt for more low-GI carb options to fulfill your daily carb needs. Low-Gi carbs promote sustained energy release and often contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which contribute to overall health and well-being.

Working with the GI of foods to customize your nutrition strategy after exercise works well if you are dealing with isolated carb sources. However, combining several foods influences overall digestion and absorption of a meal and therefore influence the GI response and its effects.

Use The FoodCoach App to structure your training and receive customized post-cycling meal recommendations. The FoodCoach App will guide you daily to bring focus and translate personal carb needs into real food and meals. Experiment with timing and different types of carbs and pay attention to how your body responds. This allows you to tailor your nutrition to your unique needs and preferences. Keep in mind, every meal is a chance to enhance your performance!

Example of FoodCoach app

Popular low-GI foods

Popular medium-GI foods

Popular high-GI foods

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