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How To Improve Your Cycling Training Results With Nutrition

How To Improve Your Cycling Training Results With Nutrition


– Being as light as possible, as well as getting stronger and fitter are things that most
cyclists strive to achieve, yet, what most professional
cyclists are able to attain. But, how do they do it? Well to find out, we’ve come
to speak to James Morton, head of nutrition at Team Sky, to find out those very secrets. Now James, we all know
the importance of getting your nutrition right when training, but let’s assume that you’ve
got your training dialled, that remains the same, how could you manipulate your nutrition to better improve the
effectiveness of your training? – This is a great question. It’s one of my favourite areas
of sport nutrition naturally because for many years, we’ve all thought about the intensity and the duration of training sessions, as in that’s the most important thing. But actually, we’ve been involved in Liverpool John Moore
University for many years now, looking at that very question actually. How can you maximise the
response of muscle to training? Simply by changing what
you’ve eaten before, during, and after the session itself. And actually, you can perform exactly the same amount
of work done on the bike, but you change one of those three things and you can totally change how your muscle responds to exercise. It’s remarkable, really. We’ve pulled out over 1000 muscle biopsies in the last decade. Usually our studies are
focusing on high carbohydrate versus carbohydrate
restriction, if you like. So, restricted carbohydrate
before, during, and after, and we consistently see at the level of gene expression in muscle. So cells and molecules, that you restrict the carbohydrate and the muscle seems
to amplify all of these regulatory processes that
essentially all depends how much mitochondria you make. And this is filtering
into elite sport now. – So this is the kind of fasted training side of things, isn’t it? – Yeah, there’s many ways
to restrict carbohydrates. I guess the simplest way would
be a fasted exercise session. So, you simply have your
breakfast after training, rather than before training. Or you restrict
carbohydrate after training. So, rather than recovering straight away, you deliberately withhold
it for a few hours or maybe you just don’t have
sport drinks during training. Another way to do it is
to split your session, so you have a session in the morning time to strip your muscle of carbohydrate. You don’t feed any carbohydrate and then you perform a session
in the afternoon again. So, you deliberately commence that session with low muscle glycogen or in fact, maybe you
should just amalgamate all those strategies together and kind of get the best of everything and we call that an amalgamation
of train-low paradigms and that’s under the umbrella of fueling for the work required. – What about, are there any
specific other food groups that you think are important? That people should perhaps
look at and consider, that could give benefits or
improve our riders training or at least their recovery from training? – Well the obvious one is
protein really, isn’t it? I think endurance athletes in
general, not just cyclists, but across the board, probably
under consume protein. Although, I think the research and the use of good sport nutrition, partners like Science
in Sport, for instance, are now communicating
the importance of protein to endurance athletes. – It is quite a controversial
subject, isn’t it as well? There’s a lot people think
you can just eat carbs. I mean full stop without protein at all, which is quite an
interesting point of view. – The reality is, muscle
is made of protein and when you perform
hard exercise sessions, you’re essentially degrading all of those muscle protein stores. To recondition that muscle
and rebuild that muscle, you have to put protein
back into the system. So that’s where you need
high quality amino acids. So, I guess when it
comes to protein feeding, one of the key ingredients or
key amino acids is leucine. – I think that’s one of Dan Lloyd’s favourite amino acids,
leucine, apparently. – It’s interesting
because what leucine does is kind of act as the switch to almost instruct the muscle to
start building new protein. So, supplements like whey
protein, for instance, is naturally high in leucine, but it also contains all of the
other essential amino acids, so leucine kind of activates the muscle and instructs the muscle
to make new protein. But of course, then you
supply all the other essential amino acids in the
post exercise recovery period and over time, the muscle
kind of remodels itself. Makes itself stronger and more functional. – What about the involvement
of other food groups? So like your vitamins and your minerals, that we see in fruit and vegetables, that clearly has an important
part to play as well. What would be the detrimental effect if you didn’t get that balance right? – Well that’s more from an
immune perspective really. So, vitamins and minerals certainly don’t improve performance. They’re not really going to
enhance training adaptations unless you’re deficient. But the reason why vitamins and minerals are important from a
nutritional perspective is obviously the immune system itself. But they’re also involved
in the regulation of energy production. So unless you’re really deficient in them, then there’s probably not a real big need to enhance training
adaptations by consuming vitamins and minerals but certainly during heavy periods of competition and training, then we would advise that because you want to keep
a healthy immune system. You want to stay on the bike. – Absolutely, fascinating
stuff, James Morton, been a pleasure, thanks very much. So, low carb, high protein and really steady weight reduction seem to be the way forward. But as ever, we’d love
to hear what you think. Leave your comments down below. Now, if you haven’t
already subscribed to GCN, you can do so by clicking on the globe. It’s absolutely free. Now, for a couple more nutrition videos, you can click here and here. So click up here for pro
cycling nutrition tips and just down here for
when to eat while cycling.

100 comments on “How To Improve Your Cycling Training Results With Nutrition

  1. "Athletes around the board are under-consuming protein" – Sis employee – makers of protein powder

  2. omg still promoting this stupid fad about low carb, it doesnt work stop doing it
    there have been research about it and high carb diet always provides better results

  3. it doesn't matter to much if you do high carb vegan or non vegan or high carb+high protein, chicken is low in fat so are beans, ITS JUST ABOUT LOW FAT, FAT IS BAD! But vegans, vegan is not bad but neither is eating non vegan you wont die from eating chicken…….

  4. This seems all good if you are a professional who is allowed to feel wiped out and can recover all day. Amateurs should refresh carbs so they don't feel like crap at the office or looking after the kids for the rest of the day. Sorry GCN, take your pro perspective hat off and ask the experts what amateurs should do for goodness sake. Think of who your subs are!

  5. Since switching to a whole food plant based diet 2 years ago my training levels have skyrocketed. I'm also not weighed down by a ton of animal flesh taking days to digest. Everything moves much quicker. I'll never go back to eating any animal products 😊

  6. Who needs vegetables. They just stop you getting a cold. One sis bar in the morning a gel for dinner and a scoop of sis whey protein mix for tea is all you need for a balanced diet kids

  7. 'Includes paid promotion for Science in Sport'….says it all. Typical commercially backed bs nutritional advice, based on science done back in the 1980s that is somehow still being taught as fact on most nutrition courses. High carb plant based, has been shown time and time again to be the best diet for overall health, and based upon the somewhat limited research there is, for endurance exercise as well.

  8. They talk about nutrition between cycling training… This makes sense! Of course it's way harder for a vegan to follow the advices. But it is possible!

    And I bet my ass, that during the grand tours they will all eat high carb…!

  9. Don't eat, train a lot, eat steaks, don't worry about vegetables and then buy lots of our products when you start feeling crap. Yeh, nice one…

  10. It's unfortunate that nutritionists always seem to talk about food components not specific foods. Not all carbs are the same. Not all proteins are the same. Whey protein is junk. Hemp protein, in the form of whole, hulled seeds in my favorite source of protein.

  11. Hmmm that's interesting SIS is going against the best research on the planet to fit in with the social trend of high protein low carbs. It's almost as if it's trying to sell products…. oh wait

  12. So, no pasta? no rice and tuna?…. Instead, Fish or meat for brunch after a morning ride without breakfast?

  13. I just don't get how so many of you can forgo breakfast and yet get on the bike for an hour or more training; my body bonks so hard during a ride like that that I will honestly be found in a lump on the side of the road, sick to my stomach and barely able to move any muscles.
    You would think it would be embarrassing to be unable to hold your head up while slumped in the dirt, but when you bonk that hard, you don't even care about the people staring at you. … I distinctly remember the GCN video nutrition advice you guys gave a number of months ago where you suggested just getting coffee in the morning, fasting otherwise and hitting the road on the bike. That was a freaking disaster for me.

  14. So instead of replenishing glycogen you're breaking down muscle and then taking protein to not lose muscle. Remember fat doesn't turn into glycogen

  15. As much as I want to lose weight, I am not going to drastically reduce my carbs. I have been powerlifting for several years now, and our muscles need all the macronutrients to function correctly. On top of that, I need energy when I cycle, and that comes from carbs.

  16. key point was that select ley training sessions when you carb restrict. It's all good for the low intensity rides but high intensity needs carbs!

  17. Matt looks like he's struggling to get the content of this video… "just nod your head and say Ok…. Ok Matt?"

  18. This video contains paid promotion for Science in Sport.

    Only thing that made sense here. No actual data given for any of this. How many carbs are SKY taking daily, for what periods are they carb restricting (micro-restrictions, longer periods?) what other legal drugs are they taking alongside this. Must feel pretty slimy after making this vid. Hard ride, self-flagellation and a cold shower should work Matt.

  19. Great video GCN! Thanks for consulting with Team Sky's head of nutrition. This is where sports nutrition is heading, all backed by science, you herd the guy, "over a thousand muscle biopsy's". This show the adaptions gained by training in carb restricted state aka low carb. Train low race high, not something that is a new concept, Euro pro's have always done this.

  20. vitamins and minerals certainly don't improve performance? restrict your carbs before during and after? is this guy trolling?

  21. It's public knowledge that Chris Froome is on LCHF diet, it's only at race time is when the strategic carbs are used for the extra power needed for the hills. Anyone who think stuffing yourself full of carbs and gels is the way to go, obviously still have their head buried in the sand.

  22. i perform FAR better with high carbs, the low carbs… When I'm under carbed it makes me feel like I'm a wet flannel

  23. There'll be SIS branded champagne at the Shift Media Christmas Party. Adpocalypse hitting everyone hard these days.

  24. I usually do my morning rides without eating anything, and feel like I have tons of energy actually. I follow a good ride with some eggs, bacon, and toast!

  25. Dr James Morton appears on the healthspan website and quite clearly says that carbohydrates are required for cycling. He is contradicting himself, and the reason appears to be because he is being paid to promote protein by SIS.

    https://www.healthspan.co.uk/elite/our/sports-nutrition-library/articles/fuelling-for-the-tour-de-france

    I really wish that GCN would state when their videos are paid infomercials.

  26. What a bunch of BS! I've been vegan and on YouTube for best on six years struggled here and there but have no protein issues I know what's up! I'll ride 100km to 400+km and many shorter rides with no issues and others are and can too!

    So somebody please tell me why I'd need to eat meat and some bs protein powder with whey in the ingredients to improve my cycling performance?

  27. It's asinine to talk about good nutrition when ur promoting SIS which uses junk chemicals as artificial sweetener. Not only are they harmful to the body since u need sugars to live than its fucking pointless to use anything artificial when u need pure energy 🤔

  28. Been eating salads and avoiding carbs to lose weight. It works, but no energy and longer recovery. This week I ditched the salads and ate white bread, bananas and white rice, basically lots of carbs. Boom! Absolutely smashing it on the bike. First time in ages I've stopped smelling of ammonia. Got to say I believe durianrider.

  29. Why didn't this "nutrition expert" mention that in all the studies that show a "fat adaptation", one also finds that athletes eating low carb experience significant performance loss at higher intensities? What benefit does a slight "fat adaptation" really have if you're a GC contender (or even just hunt strava segments) and you're losing 5% of your 30 minute Watts/kg in exchange for it?

    Also, what is the point in consuming whey protein powder that is shown to raise your fasting insulin / IGF1 levels if your goal is to be as light as possible? Not to mention the negative health consequences that arise from having chronically elevated insulin / IGF1.

  30. This is awful information. I really try not to be dogmatic when it comes to nutrition and athletic performance, but this is straight up bad information

  31. Vitamins only good for immune system? When you guys make such claims please provide the references of the scientific articles as well! That's how science works GCN and Mr SIS. For now it's only marketing shit which is not trustworthy at all! Stay genuine GCN, you have a great channel but now focus has been shifted to earn big money with marketing shit. Go back to your roots please.

  32. I understand session 1 – no crabs. Can someone explain session 2 – low muscle glycogen? What sort of ride is this and what do I consume before/ during / after? Thanks

  33. I really question if everybody is really listening to James Morton or is just going "paid promotion, so BS" on this. They're talking about training, it's in the name of de video, it's mentioned plenty times in the video. It's NOT about racing.

    Do cyclists need carbs? Yes! Do they take them: Yes! Do they take them during races? Yes! And during training? Yes, but much less.

    A low carbs, high fat training paradigm is what made Froome win the Tour and got Bardet to second place last year.

  34. I guess this makes some sense for HARD TRAINING only, I would not want leucine in my blood all the time.

  35. This was so interesting because most of the sports nutrition stuff out there has a lot of carbohydrate, so I wonder if these companies will start producing low-carb gels/etc… to be used for training.

  36. I'm actually vegetarian, but your right, in not used to eating beans, and that probably the reason I can clear a room, thanks for the 411

  37. How canI prevent hair loss? Can you please ask the Doctor. I just want to retire with thick healthy hair. Thanks in advance Matt 👍

  38. I think that guy's payed product placement is a load of shit!!!
    his advice is BS.
    How can you train and ride hard for hours on low carb!!!!

  39. Restrict carbs when your body NEEDS carbs to replenish glycogen stores? What the fuck did I just watch…?

  40. Bike industry take note product placement will now cost $$$s on GCN; just like our US government cash = assess. I smell a winner here guys.
    Oh wait Discovery Communications already brought the big cash to co-opt GCN viewers? Full disclosure guys GCN is now corporate media hired/bought for entertainment and adverts to increase viewership and income streams. I smell a reality show coming as a spin off.

  41. Thanks, Matt, for your conversation with Dr. Morton and I like his low-carb training advice. And elsewhere on YouTube, he advocates protein intake every three to four hours every day, training or racing or just living a day. I haven't heard anything from him or you about cheat days, as the body builders call rest days, so perhaps you could address that. And maybe include some banana split variations, too? And surely I grin with our carb-loving friends.

  42. Wow…frowning…nodding…trying to look interested while this guy does his infomercial…really tedious that you would resort to such shoddy nonsense. I love the tidal wave of negative feedback in the comments and I really hope that any newbies who might fall for this drivel glance down below for a dose of reality.

  43. That's incredibly complicated, a lot of options to consider there and no details about how the amalgamation is implemented or what low carb actually is. I already do fasted training in the morning then fuelled on the way home. I have also done the low carb high fat diet for several weeks and didn't find it significantly detrimental to my training but I don't do endurance where it is mostly beneficial, I ride for about an hour so am back on carbs to improve sprint performance. I was on about 70-100g carb a day though. My protein is usually between 120-180g a day for 2500-2700 kcal a day.

  44. if i eat nothing for a 40km fast round i get feeling hamstring and calfcramps setting in at any moment. im a roadbiker for almost 8 years now and do a minimum of 500km per mont. my legs are strong and quite used to peddeling but still this feelibg keeps comming sometimes.

  45. 1 Why does everyone think that they are a nutritional expert?

    2) SIS have been a sponsor of GCN for AAAGES. Sponsorship that pays for this channel to exist btw.

    3) Despite this having a "paid promotion" SIS and their products were hardly mentioned.

    4) All that's different here is that GCN have changed the way they highlight the sponsorship in their videos. See no. 2.

  46. Don't hate GCN for making money. This whole channel is product placement. Just make sure you don't live by what you heard on the Internet. It's your body so it's your responsibility to care what goes in it.

  47. Pleased to see this wasn't just a video propping up SIS but had quality info about which substrates and macro nutrients are ideal at what times. Great interview!

  48. to keep its integrity, GCN should display on the video that this is an infomercial and not just put it in the show notes. most papers and TV channels do that for a reason.

  49. The more you stress the muscle the stronger it will get, going on a fasted ride stressed your muscles more at lower intensities then being carbed up. But the effort is greater too…

  50. MORE OF THIS PLEASE!! I was hanging by this guy's lips!!! So bummed the video is SO short! What a flippin cool classy dude, calm, collective. Speaks with such authority! Thanks GCN

  51. Great video, folks! You guys should do another one w/ him and go deeper on the subject. One idea would be to give examples of diets for a cyclist depending on the goal.

  52. I don't agree with this replace protein with meat protein. A cow and horse doesn't eat meat to built the large muscles they have

  53. From the video description – "This video contains paid promotion for Science in Sport." – end of discussion. There is the "you can skip this advert now " button missing in the 3rd second of the video. But we all love GCN anyway.

  54. #karlslogic
    Hi guys really learnt a lot about cycling from watching your videos and really enjoy them, I would really love to see you do a video for Hybrid Athletes like my self as we struggle for sustained speed both on the flat and on hills over longer periods of time due to our size and strength training, I manage 33kmh over 60km, but then find it hard to maintain when I hit the hills. an average weight of a hybrid athlete is around 100kg, our goal is to be as well rounded as possible for both big lifts (double body weight in Squat&Deadlift and 1.5xBW on bench) as well as swim bike over distance. I’m never going to be as small as a cyclist so what can I do to increase my cycling ability and efficiency. Thank you.

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