Tips to help fuel in the cold :
You look down at your computer and notice that it’s been an hour since you started your ride, it’s past time to eat or drink something and you know if you don’t get to it you’ll hear it from your coach after. You also have 2 pairs of gloves on and your nearest pocket with food is under two layers as well.
The winter months are a regular time where fueling gets forgotten, and as coaches we are constantly reminding our athletes to stay on top of it. So to help, we thought we’d share a few of our helpful tips to fight back against the cold and keep your body operating the way it should be so you can make the most of your winter training!
Keep it warm : Food
Pretty much any fuel designed for during workout consumption will be a bit tougher to consume while it is cold: waffles, bars, blocks, pretty much anything aside from gels and liquid calories will be like chewing on a cracker if its 30°F (-1°C) out. Here’s a simply solution: when riding you can ether stick the waffle/block’s just slightly under your jersey right around your hip flexor in the front. Most Jersey’s will do the job with elastic to keep the food in place, plus the hip angle of you holding the bars will also help to keep the food where you left it. The extra body heat will help to keep the food warm and soft.
Keep it warm : Hydration
When we think of an insulated bottle we think of super hot days where we are doing everything to keep our water cold, now inversely using them in the winter can go a long way to helping you staying warm.
During Ride : “The Sports Hot Toddy” (not whiskey!) hot water, with 1-2 scoops of Gu Roctane Summit Tea Drink mix (or mix in honey, lemon juice, and a small cinnamon stick).
Post Ride : “Recovery Hot Chocolate” for recovery when you finish your ride try hot water, a scoop of hot chocolate, and two scoops of Gu Chocolate Smoothy Recovery Mix.
Get Creative : Try new things and it might just be what you are looking for
Some athletes are going through the off season right now, or are dabbling in new activities, this might seem like a given but remember that you can still take your favorite sport fuel with you. Like many of my athletes I find myself thinking of sport fuel as just that, only to be used/ingested while in movement. Here is a scenario where recently trying something new literally saved me on a long day of backpacking. Half way into a 30mile backpacking trip I ran out of coffee (big deal as an avid coffee drinker!), so this got us thinking of trying the Gu Coffee Liquid energy gel heated and mixed with some water.
This solution gave me the caffeine kick I needed to finish out the trip. Sometimes in the winter we have to get a little creative, give it a try and who knows what you will come up with!
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Isaiah is Coach with FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Isaiah has been talking the talk and walking the walk [FasCat Core Value #7] for over 15 years. To talk about your zones and training fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to schedule a Coaching Consultation with Isaiah.