March 12, 2021
Making sure you have enough energy to finish your ride well is half of the work done. Ok, maybe one-third, but still important! But how do you make sure you start your training or race well fueled?
Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel during your ride. A significant part of the carbohydrates you use as a fuel is stored in the body in the form of glycogen. Another part is coming from the carbohydrates available in your blood (in the form of glucose). Especially during prolonged or high intensity exercise, glycogen storage will get depleted. Fueling up before your ride in order to optimize glycogen stores and to increase carbohydrate availability in the blood could therefore be beneficial. For more information on fueling during your rides read our article carbohydrates to fuel your rides.
The biggest part of glycogen in the body is stored in our muscles. In addition, also the liver stores glycogen. There are other tissues in the body that store glycogen as well, but their contribution is relatively small compared to muscle and liver. In general, muscles store about 300 to 600 grams of glycogen. The liver can store about 80 to 110 grams of glycogen. By consuming sufficient carbohydrates, you can elevate your glycogen levels. Especially after an overnight fast this could be important, since liver glycogen could be significantly lower or even be largely depleted, meaning 20 grams or less.
The EatMyRide app provides you a personal pre-exercise nutrition advise based on your planned training/race, whereafter you can create your own nutrition plan.