Cyclists tend to be active, health-conscious athletes who take pride in their appearance. Whether a cyclist is in shape due to a lucky metabolism or a strict diet, the active nature of any cyclist’s daily routine typically leaves them in great shape. Fad diets are something that is no stranger to the marketplace over the last decade. Ever since the concept of “carb are bad” came into play, people have been avoiding the bread basket at dinner like the plague. But are carbs really that bad? And, for cyclists, aren’t carbs necessary to sustain the energy and fuel that they require to complete a long ride? At the end of the day, carbs are a necessity for athletes and cyclists who train hard.

Many cyclists fear that they are overdoing it when it comes to carbs and preparing for a ride. To avoid overconsumption of carbs, many people have turned to a new eating approach known as carb cycling. Simply put, carb cycling refers to the altering of high carb and low carb days in order to keep the body fit and lean while still enjoying delicious carbs. Carbohydrates play a vital role in the promotion of muscle growth. However, too many carbs can quickly lead to weight gain. Here is the theory behind carb cycling days:

  • Low Carb Days: help increase the muscle-building response in the body while ensuring that the body is receptive to insulin, as well as promoting fat loss
  • High Carb Days: provides energy and fuel for the muscles, causes muscles cells to grow through an insulin response stimulation bringing nutrients into the muscle

Building lean, strong muscles through carb cycling is a great idea for cyclists. There are, however, important things to remember in relation to your workout plan. Make sure that low carb days are paired with off days or light workout days. When you are preparing for your long rides, be sure to match those with high carb days. No matter how serious of a cyclist you may be, it is important to treat yourself to things like carb in order to maintain a balanced diet. Fad diets never last and often lead to increased weight gain once the diet stops. Carb cycling offers are a great way to realistically maintain muscle and keep a lean body.