People push their body’s limit and to do so, they need the right nutrition and exercise to boost their performance. Cycling is a high-intensity sport where all your energy is used up to finish the race. Some cycling performance enhancement supplements give that extra nudge to stay healthy while some encourage performance and recovery.
Bodybuilders and athletes supplement their diets with certain substances to improve their performance and endurance level. As the sports career has turned into a giant, lucrative profession, the related industries like sports apparel brand, gear, dietary supplements, and others have also boomed as a business.
Garments and gear could be chosen according to one’s preferences but picking the right dietary supplement could be a tad be tricky. This is because the claims and promises offered by these supplements are too good to be true. Nevertheless, the dietary supplements do augment an athlete’s complete well-being.
On that note, we represent 10 best cycling supplements (along with a special supplement), take a look!
10 (+1) Best Cycling Supplements for Cyclists
Individuals engaged in intense cycling activities and races are professional or competitive cyclists who need high levels of energy and strength to endure intense routine. And for that extra nudge to keep going cyclists require adequate cycling supplements.
With a myriad of “promising” nutrient supplements available in the market, walking into a dietary supplement aisle is like stepping into a minefield!
And to guide you, here’s a list of 10 best cycling performance-enhancing supplements for cyclists.
1. Energy Drinks
Fluids like recovery drinks and protein shake are formulated to maximize your performance.
Intense cycling works and breaks down the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings muscles. It also tends to burn energy in the body. Therefore, athletes like cyclists should take energy drinks to replenish the lost energy.
The best recovery supplements are a combination of carbohydrate (simple sugars) and whey protein.
While whey protein alone can recover and aid in the building of the muscles after an intense workout, supplementing it with carbohydrates will provide extra energy to the muscles.
Typically speaking, electrolytes are essential minerals that are necessary for proper cellular function and to maintain healthy fluid balance in the body. They carry electrical charges across the body and thereby stimulate the muscles and the nerves.
As a sports supplement, electrolytes are solutions containing ions like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Human bodies inherently contain electrolytes and these are lost the most through perspiration. Therefore, post-cycling or any kind of training, we must drink water or specially designed electrolyte drinks to restore the lost electrolytes for a quick recovery.
If you want to ride best, it’s important to aim for a high muscle and a low-fat body.
Which is why a BCAA drink including all 22 amino acids serves as a great recovery drink for cyclists.
BCAA for cyclists is an absolute must, as one fact we should not ignore about the BCAA protein is that these amino acids do not occur naturally in the body, which is why they need to be taken in supplement form.
3. Multivitamins and Minerals
Vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken by all and not only by the athletes.
Having said that, vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients which mean that our body cannot produce them and hence must be taken externally.
As an active individual who enjoys aerobic exercises like cycling, you should take multivitamins and minerals supplements to strengthen the bones and keep the muscles healthy by providing glycogen.
The best vitamins for cyclists are Vitamin C and D as they help in reducing muscle soreness and promoting bone health.
A healthy body can endure more and give you the physical strength to push your willpower a step further.
4. Protein Supplements
Whey and casein are two types of milk proteins.
Athletes and bodybuilders require extra protein dose which is not achieved through a regular diet.
Proteins help to build and repair tissues like bone, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Supplementing the body with whey protein helps to enhance muscle recovery.
It assists the muscles in repairing and building themselves up, and thus promote adaptation to the arduous training. Additionally, intake of casein protein supplement is also recommended as it slows down the rate of protein breakdown.
Muscle growth depends on the balance of protein synthesis and breakdown.
A popular debate that has been doing the rounds is should you cycle creatine?
The answer to this question is both yes and no.
Weightlifters and bodybuilders often cycle steroids to balance out the possible dangers of steroids. However, creatine is not a steroid and is produced by the body naturally.
Creatine provides the initial burst of energy you need to kick-start your training, it facilities the recycling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in muscle and brain tissue.
During strenuous activities, our body uses energy from the ATP molecule to power muscular contraction. ATP releases one of the high-energy phosphate groups under such conditions and reduces to a de-energized form called ADP (Adenosine Di-Phosphate).
Creatine plays a key role in regenerating ATP and provides further energy. It produces the initial burst of energy and enhances the body’s capacity to perform high-intensity training so there’s no need for cycling creatine at all.
6. Citrulline Malate
A relatively new kind of supplement, Citrulline Malate (CM) boost ATP production in the body.
It is known that CM makes endurance exercise seem effortless as reduces the formation of lactic acid in the muscles. It is one of the best cycling supplements as stimulates aerobic energy production.
The recommended CM dosage is, strictly, 6 grams a day.
Amongst the recovery drinks for cyclists, try the product ZMA. It consists of Zinc mono-methionine aspartate (30 mg), magnesium aspartate (450 mg), and Vitamin B6 (10.5 mg).
Studies have revealed that ZMA can raise the levels of testosterone by up to 30% and increase strength by 2.5 times than a placebo group, thus making it a much need cycling supplement.
The main components magnesium and zinc in ZMA helps cyclists and other athletes fight early fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramps. It also helps in post-training/exercise recovery.
That glutamine is a good cycling supplement is a little controversial!
However, one can overlook the benefits of glutamines.
Consuming glutamines after endurance based exercises is a wise choice as it improves the immune system and encourages quick recovery.
9. Fat Burners
As a cyclist, you need to have a sharp physique with a minimum amount of fat in your body.
It is believed that excess weight will hinder your performance and it is true!
For effective fat burn, take certain fat burners like Bio-Synergy Thermogen capsules.
These fat burners act as cycling supplements for weight loss and help keep your body sleek and consequently enhance your performance because a lean body enjoys the maximum aerodynamic advantage.
Cyclists often face the challenge of keeping pace throughout an entire grueling race. Therefore, having an active mind during the entire racing period is quite necessary.
Drinks like green tea and coffee give you a neurological lift and keep you active and pumped up. Caffeine also bolsters fat mobilization and burning and thus enhance performance.
And now the extra one!
11. Beta Alanine
Studies have suggested that beta-alanine increases muscle carnosine and handles lactic acid formation in the muscles more effectively.
Beta Alanine is typically an amino acid.
Can it help boost your performance?
Most certainly, because it improves muscle carnosine levels and acts as a pH buffer to help you improve your sprinting ability and overall performance by reducing the acid effect in your muscles.
It also improves time to exhaustion as well by delaying neuromuscular fatigue for its anti-oxidant and immune boosting properties.
If consumed in recommended doses, beta alanine is a safe supplement to be taken. It is to be used in healthy proportions with the only side effect being a tingling sensation which goes away over a period of time with continued supplementation.
Sports Food and Supplements - Infographic
Other supplements that should be included in a cyclist’s diet are fish oils for immune system benefits, nitrates to reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow!
For more information on healthy cycling lifestyle, read Cycling Diet of Pro Cyclists!