Bike News, Food News

Supplements for older cyclists

I’m 50 and, although I’m not a competitive cyclist, I like to think that I’m in fairly good shape given committments with work, family, etc. I could do with losing about 5kg to bring me comfortably in the weight guidelines for my age & height, and that would help my cycling too, but I’m not obese by any stretch of the imagination. My cycling and general exercise is definitely above average, and the cyclocross racing will be helping with some big jumps in my general fitness at the moment. With regards work, I’m office-based, but have the home office set-up with a stand-up desk, so I’m hopefully not too sedentary at work. Oh, and I generally sleep like a log for a good 7-8 hours every night. So that’s a bit of general background… what about my diet…

I’ve dropped lot of carbs in the past year or so to help get some weight off, and since last summer have stopped having sugar in tea (although I do treat myself to a sugar in my coffee) and am getting way better at resisting a glass or two (of wine/beer) in the evening. Most of the meals we have are cooked from fresh ingredients, so not much processed food. Certainly not much red meat, with a decent amount of chicken and fish in the mix. If I had a concern about my diet, it’s that it’s difficult trying to balance less carbs to lose some weight versus more carbs for energy for cycling – so I’m actively loading carbs on Tuesday night and Wednesday ahead of the Wednesday night summer cyclocross races, and staying away from them for the rest of the week.

The problem, more of a concern really, is that I’ve been feeling pretty lethargic and low on energy during the week in recent months. I know I’m getting older and my training has upped a gear recently, but I’m not prepared for thatto be the status quo at the moment, so I’ve taken a look at some supplements to try and get a boost.

Supplements clearly stir up all sorts of opinions and views, and it’s a potential minefield, so I’ve taken a fairly low-key step into this thorny subject starting with a vitamin supplement, Omega 3 and a protein lift.

Vitamins

A good diet ‘should’ contain everything you need to remain healthy and overloading on vitamins doesn’t do any good, as the body (generally) just jettisons the vitamins it doesn’t need. So any vitamin supplement, in my opinion, is just an attempt to fill in the gaps in your diet that you’re not quite managing to cover with your diet. Hence I’ve gone for a multivitamin from Seven Seas… OK, it’s for 50+ Men, which is mildly disconcerting, but it has some energy factors included, so I’m giving that a try.

Omega 3

This is one of those ‘general’ supplements that is widely recognised as having benefits for most people. In my context it’s mainly for joint fitness, but the suggested benefits for heart and mental health would be useful as well.

Whey protein

This was the controversial step in the supplements approach. In principle I shouldn’t need any additional protein to stay healthy, I’m eating chicken, some red meat, fish and a good amount of beans. However, my rides tend to be fairly intensive (2+ hours at a good pace) and the cyclocross racing is manic, so I’m wondering whether I’m getting enough protein at the right times… hence the decision to try out whey protein shakes that I can easily mix up after my exercise.

Whey-Protein

So that’s the approach, a three-way targeted plan, and it started yesterday. I’m not expecting any instant response to these, but let’s see if I’m feeling a little more energized in a month’s time.

 

One Commnet on “Supplements for older cyclists

  1. Firstly, I stumbled upon your site while researching a 2015 Cannondale CaadX Sora. I really am enjoying your posts.

    So after 3 weeks or so, have you noticed any differences in your energy levels? I am 46 and ride about 60-80 miles per week and also have been noticing my age! Mostly when I am not riding. I feel good while I am riding.

    Keep up the good work. You have inspired me past the point to find a local cyclocross race this summer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *