When cycling, no matter what type of effort you put in during training: endurance, strength or speed, the body goes through the same phenomena. After a race, your glycogen reserves have been depleted, your muscle fibers, joints and cardiovascular system have been put to the test, you have lost minerals through sweat.
As a cyclist, whether you are a climber, sprinter or a puncheur, your recovery is therefore essential to progress. Here is a supplementation programme adapted to maintain regular performance on your bike.
Multivitamins: Taking a daily multivitamin supplement can improve recovery by preventing the reduction in body vitamin levels following a cycling session. Cycling causes a drop in thiamine levels and accelerates the destruction of vitamin E reserves by 20% (1).
Multiminerals: taking a daily multimineral compensates for mineral losses caused by sweating and reduces inflammation and muscle damage linked to cycling, particularly thanks to zinc and selenium (2,3,4).
Omega 3: Daily intake of omega 3 helps the heart beat more evenly by lowering heart rate and blood pressure and improving blood flow (5). They also help to reduce the effects of muscle soreness and improve recovery (6,7).
Collagen Type 1: after repeated muscular effort, the degradation of collagen in the joints and tendons intensifies. A collagen supplementation allows a better lubrication of the tendons (8) and thus a better prevention of injuries linked to cycling (acute aches, tendon pains, knee problems).
Potassium bicarbonate: Lactic acid is the enemy of endurance athletes, as it reduces muscle strength. Bicarbonate neutralises the lactic acid in the blood, and the production of lactate increases. Performance is improved, as muscle fatigue is reduced due to a stabilisation of the pH (9).
BCAA 4.1.1: Taking BCAAs compensates for amino acid losses during training while strengthening muscle protein synthesis and therefore recovery after training. In fact, taking at least 5g of BCAAs before training reduces the level of muscle soreness and accelerates its disappearance (10).
Numerous studies on cyclists also show that BCAA supplementation improves performance in cycling time trials as well as reducing the sensation of exertion (11).
Cluster Dextrin : the cluster dextrin is mainly reserved for use around the cycling session and more particularly in pre- and intra-training, to provide, in addition to a welcome hydration during the session, a carbohydrate intake that is easy to digest thanks to its helix shape, and very easily used and transformed into energy, without weighing on the stomach (12).
Glycerol: Glycerol is the key product in cycling. It allows better hydration, better water recovery and a significant increase in endurance performance.
To combat dehydration during exercise, glycerol provides a very beneficial hydration gain: it increases water retention by almost 50% (13,14,15,16).
By helping cyclists to stay better hydrated, glycerol also combats digestive disorders that reduce performance and damage the integrity of their health.
Finally, glycerol also represents an alternative source of fuel, as it is slowly converted to glucose and therefore will not cause hypoglycaemia.
Mix Focus: Mix focus contains a stimulating booster, green caffeine, and a non-stimulating booster, citicoline. These two types of boosters work in synergy to provide very effective effects on performance and attention. The last active ingredient in the focus mix is astaxanthin, a very powerful anti-oxidant that improves muscular endurance by stimulating lipid metabolism, which leads to an increase in aerobic performance (17).
During prolonged exercise, several studies have shown that caffeine reduces perceived exertion (18). On the other hand, citicoline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is very important for muscles and the brain because it controls the force of contraction. As you pedal, your acetylcholine reserves are depleted, which is why your muscles gradually lose their strength. This is called fatigue!
ZMB: Intense cycling training has negative effects on the nervous system. The nervous system regenerates itself during sleep, but the quality of sleep in athletes is generally impaired by the nervous tension caused by training.
One way to counteract this is to supplement with zinc and magnesium. These minerals combined together in the form of pidolates provide relaxing effects that promote better sleep and better muscle and nerve relaxation (19). ZMB is a supplement containing magnesium and zinc pidolates and vitamin B6, specially designed to improve nerve and neuronal recovery.
(1) Weng-Yew W. Nutrapharmacology of tocotrienols for metabolic syndrome.Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(21):2206-14.
(2) Kara, E. ; Ozal, M. ; Gunay, M. ; Kilic, M. ;Baltaci, A.K. ; Mogulkoc, R. Effects of exercise and zinc supplementationon cytokine release in young wrestlers. Biol Trace Elem Res 2011, 143,1435-1440, doi :10.1007/s12011-011-9005-1.
(3) DeRuisseau K.C.,et al. Sweat iron and zinc losses during prolonged exercise. Int J Sport NutrExerc Metab. 2002 Dec ; 12(4) :428-37.
(4) Klesges R.C., etal. Changes in bone mineral content in maleathletes : mechanisms of action and intervention effects. JAMA. 1996 Jul17 ; 276 (3) :226-30.
(5) Richardson ES. Electrophysiological Mechanisms of theAnti-arrhythmic Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. J Cardiovasc Transl Res. 2010Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]
(6) Tartibian B. Omega-3 Fatty AcidsSupplementation Attenuates InflammatoryMarkers After Eccentric Exercise inUntrained Men. Clinical Journal of SportMedicine 2011 21(2) p: 131-137
(7) PoprzeckiS. Modification of blood antioxidantstatus and lipid profile in response tohigh-intensity endurance exercise afterlow doses of omega-3 polyunsaturatedfatty acids supplementation in healthyvolunteers. Int JFood Sci Nutr. 2009;60Suppl 2:67-79.
(8) OesserS. Oral Administration of 14C Labeled Gelatin Hydrolysate Leads to anAccumulation of Radioactivity in Cartilage of Mice (C57/BL). J. Nutr. October1, 1999 vol. 129 no. 10 1891-1895
(9) Abramowitz MK. Lower serumbicarbonate and a higher anion gap are associated with lower cardiorespiratoryfitness in young adults. KidneyInt. 2012 Feb 1.
(10) Takashige K. Effect Of A Branched-chain Amino AcidsSupplementation On Muscle Soreness During Intensive Training Program. Medicine& Science in Sports & Exercise 2005 37(5) Supplement May p S43.
(11) La supplémentation en BCAA améliore les performancesde cyclisme chez les cyclistes non entraînés. Faizal A.Manaf Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport: avril 2021 (Volume 24, Numéro4)
(12) Is it Necessary to Ingest Carbohydrates and Fluids During 10 km Open Water Swimmingin Top-Level Competitions? G Olcina International Journal of Sport Nutritionand Exercise Metabolism December 2019
(13) Funnell MP. Blindedand unblinded hypohydration similarly impair cycling time trial performance inthe heat in trained cyclists. JAppl Physiol 2019 02 APR
(14) Robergs RA. Glycerol. Biochemistry, pharmaco kinetics and clinicaland practical applications. Sports Med. 1998 Sep;26(3):145-67. Review.
(15) Anderson MJ. Effect of glycerol-inducedhyperhydration on thermoregulation and metabolism during exercise in heat. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001Sep;11(3):315-33.
(16) Goulet EDB .Salt+Glycerol-Induced Hyperhydration Enhances Fluid Retention More Than Salt-or Glycerol-Induced Hyperhydration. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 May1;28(3):246-252.
(17) Nitta T et al., Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia –Dose finding study in healthy volunteers. J Clin Therap Med. 2005;21(5):534-56.4.
(18) Effects Of Caffeine OnPhysiological Responses To Exercise And Time-trial Performance: Influence OfCYP1A2 Genotype.Glaister, Mark Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 2020 -Volume 52 - Issue 7S - p 4
(19) TesteJF.[Psychopharmacological properties of three magnesium salts: pidolate,lactateand aspartate]. Ann Pharm Fr. 1995;53(4):176-83.