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Cycling Fasted

Cycling Fasted – Should You Go Cycling Before Breakfast?

Whether you are looking to lose weight, or utilize fat as an energy source, there may have been times you have begun cycling fasted.

When performed correctly, cycling fasted can provide benefits to your cycling fitness. But what are they? And is cycling before breakfast a good idea?

In this article we look into why cycling fasted may help boost performance, and why you should sometimes go cycling before breakfast.

Cycling Fasted – What Should You know?

Cycling fasted is an excellent way of teaching the body to utilize fat as an energy source. Not only that, but it can help you shed those unwanted kilos. However, it is still important to understand that there are potential dangers starting a ride fasted.

Fasted rides are generally starting a training session before breakfast. This means heading into the session without any food overnight, consuming water and/or coffee before your training session.

But there are a variety of training sessions you should do in a fasted state. This largely depends on how fit you are, and how you respond to training in a fasted state.

Generally, most people riding fasted for the first time can handle up to 90 minutes in duration. Whereas professional riders can often stretch this out to multiple hours.

Bradley Wiggins is a prime example of this. He was known to do fasted rides of up to 7 hours.

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However, it is important just like your training, to teach yourself to handle riding in a fasted state. That means slowly increasing the time until you eat on a ride. Saying that, start out with riding in a fasted state for 60 minutes and increase the time spent fasted by 10 minutes each week.

Once you have spent over 90 minutes riding without eating, you can start increasing the intensity during the ride. Doing steady-state sessions or threshold-type workouts.

Cycling Before Breakfast

Cycling Before Breakfast – Is it a Good Idea?

Cycling on an empty stomach or cycling before breakfast has been known to help increase VO2 max. This is because when your body needs to use a higher percentage of fat as fuel, it needs to increase its mitochondrial density.

A recent study from the University of Bath found that performing 60 minutes of cardio after a 12 hour fast helped increase the person’s fat-burning ability throughout the 60-minute ride. Not only that, they found that it also had long-term fat-burning benefits after exercise.

Another study found that cycling before breakfast can help increase the body’s growth hormone levels up to 20x. Which in turn helps to build new muscle tissue, burn more fat and improve bone density.

However, just remember that a good night’s sleep after a fasted ride and regular weight training can provide the same benefit.

While studies show the benefits of riding in a fasted state can help improve your fat-burning ability, it is important to note that if done right it can help increase the efficiency of muscle glycogen storage.

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But don’t get carried away starving yourself before your next ride. Just like training take your time and make small adjustments along the way. Your body will thank you for it.

What to Eat Before a Bike Ride to Lose Weight?

What to Eat Before a Bike Ride to Lose Weight?

If you are not someone that wants to cycle fasted or begin your morning ride on an empty stomach, you may want to know what to eat before a bike ride to lose weight.

An hour or so before you ride stick to complex carbohydrates and avoid high sugar foods such as pancakes and muesli, as these will increase your blood sugar level and raise your insulin levels. This will ultimately be followed by a drop in blood sugar level, making you need to take in more simple carbohydrates during the ride.

Oatmeal is a good source of complex carbohydrates that are also low in fat. This makes it ideal for people wanting to lose weight cycling.

However, what you eat before cycling only plays a small part in how much weight you will lose cycling. Other factors like how much and how regular you eat, how much fat and sugar content, and alcohol consumption, all play a larger part in weight loss on the bike. Focus on fixing your overall diet before trying to lose weight by skipping breakfast.

What to Eat Before Cycling Long Distance?

If you are not used to cycling fasted you may be wondering what to eat before cycling long distances? For some, this could mean 90 minutes, for others upwards of 4-5 hours.

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For most people, suitable foods can include bananas, oatmeal, malt loaf, bagels, and other complex carbohydrates. However, if you find it difficult to eat before cycling, think about making a milkshake before heading out.

This milkshake could consist of foods like:

– Oat
– Watermelon and coconut
– Blueberries
– Carrots

Just remember everyone is different and what may work for one person may not agree with you. So start by trailing different foods and see which works best during your next long rides. Alternatively talk to a cycling coach or nutritionist, who may be able to help point you in the right direction.


Cycling Weight Loss Plan

If you feel like you have hit a crossroads with your weight loss, Sport Coaching has a training program that focuses on reducing weight through specific and controlled efforts. This is paired with your current diet and designed around your lifestyle, weight loss goals, and fitness levels.

You can view our custom cycling weight loss training plan here.