Fueling your bike rides is an essential part of a cyclist’s lifestyle but when it comes to diet, are carbs or fat more beneficial? While there are benefits to both a high fat diet and a high carb diet, the right one for you will depend on your individual training regimen and your personal goals. Our blogger looks at what cyclists should take into account when planning their diet.
High Fat VS High Carb
We all know that carbohydrates are a cyclist’s main source of energy so why would a low carb diet be beneficial? Studies have shown that fat adapting can help you to train while eating less carbs and still maintain high energy levels throughout your ride. While it is not apparent that fat adapting improves performance, it is evident that a high carb approach isn’t the be all and end all.
Finding the Perfect Balance
When talking about whether a high carb or a high fat diet is better, it is a common misconception that you have to choose between the two. This is not the case as both fat and carbs are beneficial to cyclists and no benefits will be found by eradicating a food group. Both carbs and fats play an essential role in a cyclist’s diet however; cutting back slightly on either fat or carbs could help you see improvements.
Before making any diet-related decisions, it is wise to think about your personal goals. If you want to lose weight, your diet requirements will differ to that of someone who wants to improve speed or performance. If you are a short-distance cyclist, your needs will be very different to endurance or long distance riders.
Make a Lifestyle Change
A diet isn’t something you can pick up and put down. If you are struggling to decide between a high carb or a high fat diet opt for the one that feels the most natural to you. A healthy diet should be a lifestyle change and therefore if you eat a lot of sugary foods, a high fat option may not be the best option for you. Personal preference is something to take in to account whenever you make changes to your diet as in order to be consistent, you need to like what you are eating.
While there is little evidence to suggest that a high fat diet is more beneficial than a high carb diet or vice versa, it is clear to see that trends have changed over the years with many people opting for a high fat diet over the ever-popular high carb approach.