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Nutritionist Monique Ryan answers some more questions about the effects of cycling on bone density.
It is not unusual during a full season of racing to hear about a pro cyclist or two breaking a clavicle or other bone in a multi-rider pile-up. But is there something inherent to cycling that increases your risk for developing a break when you hit the pavement hard? A growing body of research indicates that being fit through cycling training alone does not guarantee optimal bone density. Cycling only may be bad for your bones.
Some experts believe that poor vitamin D status can often be a problem among athletes, and affect your overall health and ability to train.
Osteoporosis prevention and treatment has long focused mainly on women. It is true that men build larger and stronger bones early in life and are less likely to develop this disease, which is characterized by less dense, brittle bone mass more susceptible to fracture. Yet according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, two million men currently have osteoporosis and another 12 million with low bone mass are at risk. Clearly a focus on prevention is also important for men, and osteoporosis is likely underdiagnosed in this gender and certainly not as extensively studied. There are many steps
Dear Monique,In your April 25th column (More prepping for long rides), you mentionweighing before and after a ride. Is the weight differential entirely fluidor food in the stomach? Can you say a bit more about this differential?Should riders shoot for some change, no change, under what circumstances?Thanks,JoelHi Joel,The difference between your weight before and after a training riderepresents the amount of sweat that you did not replace with fluid intakeduring the ride. Even losing 2-percent of your body weight, about 3.5 poundsfor a 165-lb. cyclist can decrease your endurance, particularly
As you continue your basic training and prepare for the coming raceseason, you appreciate the importance of matching training with the properamounts of energy, carbohydrate, protein and fats (See "TheFeed Zone: February 16th"). During this training cycle, you canalso focus on types of food choices you consume to provide quality nutritionand variety to your daily and training diet.Daily DietThis is one of the best times of the year to experiment with new foodsand recipes. While you can still keep convenience and time in mind (what’sgood, quick, and easy?), don’t keep falling into the same old
Dear Monique,I am a 47 year old woman. I have heard for years that weight liftingwas beneficial to keep our bones dense, as was running and any other weightbearing sport.What confuses me is that they say cycling is not and yet when I am doinga long sustained climb, it sure feels like I'm doing leg press's. Samewith a long hard flat ride. My legs begin to burn and it often feels likeweight lifting after awhile.When climbing on the mountain bike, I lift on the bar-ends and use themotion of my arms and upper body to help me get up the climb. Why is thisconsidered not weight bearing when my arms
In Issue 20 of VeloNews we provided information regarding thenutritional concerns of Master athletes. Both male and female enduranceathletes should take the proper steps in preventing osteoporosis, includingobtaining adequate calcium and vitamin D in their diet. An adequate intakeof these nutrients combined with weight bearing exercise is essential inthe prevention of osteoporosis. It is important that your calcium needsare met on a regular basis. From ages 30 to 50, men should obtain 800 to1000mg if calcium from their diet, or supplement as necessary. Calciumneeds increase with age, to 1200
Dear Monique:What is your opinion regarding the effect of sodium phosphate loadingon cycling performance for a time trial?Thanks,LKDear LK;Sodium phosphate is a phosphate salt, and phosphate salts can playan important role in metabolism at it relates to sports performance. Phosphatesalts may buffer lactic acid and produce energy via the oxygen energy system-and consequently enhance performance during aerobic endurance activities.The important questions regarding the use of phosphate salts are the following.Does the research support that phosphate salt loading actually improvesperformance? Are
Last week, Dr. Dawn Richardson discussed the medical implications of hypertension in endurance athletes. Since there may be many cyclists, triathletes and other athletes who are pre-hypertensive or hypertensive, I would like to review the dietary guidelines currently recommended for these conditions. When diagnosed with pre-hypertension or hypertension, your first reaction may be to cut back on your salt intake, and lose excess weight. While these measures may be appropriate and necessary for some individuals, there are nutritional strategies that go well beyond eating less salt. This may
Dear Ms. Ryan;With all the controversy regarding nutritional supplements, I am curious as to whether they are really necessary. Is it possible for a highly competitive cyclist (which I am not) to get the required vitamins, etc., in a normal, well-thought-out diet? Or are the demands of training and racing so high that it's just not possible to force down enough food? --GPDear GP;Thanks for your question. Because of the demands of your training and racing, you are able to eat significantly more food than your sedentary counterpart. However, what matters is that the foods you choose are quality
Dear Monique;What's the deal with muscle cramps? I'm suddenly getting them in my calves after about an hour or two of riding. Is it simply a matter of hydration or is electrolyte balance more important? I usually only drink water on rides and take gels for energy. I didn't get cramps in the early season when the rides were just as long (though maybe not as hard). By the way, thanks for taking time to answer readers' questions. I know you can't get to all of them, but it is very cool of you to take time out to do this for all of us who love cycling. Have a great one,Eric Hi EricSorry to
Dear MoniqueLast triathlon season I struggled with dehydration and found that sodium tablets were the only thing that helped me during my long runs (2+ hours).I am training for an Ironman now and want to experiment with different electrolyte tablets. I was surprised to find that most do not have sodium. What do you recommend taking then? Which is more important- electrolytes or sodium? Or should I stick with an electrolyte tablet with sodium?Thank you.AB Dear AB;It is always difficult for triathletes (and other endurance athletes) to keep up with their fluid losses and chances are that you
I am training for my first Ironman (Lake Placid 2003) and am concerned about keeping my iron levels high enough to avoid anemia-which I suffered from this fall, but which is now back to normal. I have also been told that I many not be getting enough protein to sufficiently rebuild and recover after workouts. How much iron and protein do women endurance athletes typically need? TP Dear TP - Since you have already had anemia, it is important that you pay close attention to your iron intake and have your blood work monitored fairly regularly. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient
Dear Monique;I had a question about glucosamine. I am trying to determine if I can save a little money by taking a smaller daily dose. Currently I take 1500 mg each of glucosamine and chondroitin, as instructed on the label. Thank you.-- KGDear KG;Glucosamine and chondroitin are two dietary supplements offered as alternatives to standard medical treatment of osteoarthritis, which affects 12 to 15 percent of all adults in the U.S. Researchers estimate that 90 percent of people over the age of 40 exhibit some evidence of this condition in the weight bearing joints. Sixteen million individuals
Monique Ryan is the nutrition columnist for VeloNews andInside Triathlon magazines and is founder of Personal NutritionDesigns, a consulting company based in the Chicago area. Ryan will tryto answer selected questions each week in her regular on-line question-and-answercolumn.Readers are welcome to send questions to Ryan.Dear Web Readers;Thank you for your response to the nutrition Web Q and A. The responsehas been very high, and I am sorry if I am not able to get to everyone’squestions. Two topics that have come up very frequently are the issue ofmuscle cramping and weight loss. Instead of