Ask a cycling coach: ‘Will I see much benefit from using branded sports nutrition products – or will any carbs do?’

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By now, we are all aware of the benefits of fuelling properly when on the bike. When we exercise we use the fat and carbohydrate (glycogen) stored in our body. While even the leanest pro athlete has more than enough fat stores for a training session, we all only have limited glycogen stores. Glycogen is stored in the liver and the muscles as it is transported in the blood as glucose. While we have all probably experienced the dreaded ‘bonk’ when our liver glycogen stores are so low that blood sugar drops; even mild glycogen depletion can lead to a significant reduction in performance.

Sports scientist and coach James Spragg is one of the experts who will be answering your questions in Cycling Weekly’s ASK A CYCLING COACH series which comes out every Wednesday. Working both in research and applied settings, he currently runs Intercept Performance Consultancy

It’s for this reason that whenever I work with an athlete, I will prescribe their training and the fuelling during and after each session. This ensures that the macronutrient intake matches the demands of that particular training session. This approach to cycling nutrition has recently become known as ‘fuelling for the work required’.

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