FRUIT, VITAMINS AND MINERALS IN A CYCLIST’S DIET

It is well known that our body requires a sufficient supply of fruit, vegetables, and vitamins. Yet many athletes focus so much on the right amounts of carbohydrates and proteins that they neglect this essential part of their diet.

Ideally, we should eat fruit and vegetables five times a day, especially in summer when they are available fresh. The recommended daily intake is 400 g of vegetables and 250 g to 300 g of fruit.

VEGETABLES

The greatest benefit of vegetables is their high volume of fibre, which varies between 2% and 9%. Vegetables are generally very high in volume with low energy values. Apart from fibre, vegetables also are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, which are essential substances for everyone and even more so for athletes. We should ideally consume 400 g of vegetables every day.

Benefits of vegetables:

  • low energy value
  • fibre
  • minerals
  • antioxidants
  • vitamins
  • formed mainly of water

FRUIT

Fruit is a bit more complicated than vegetables. It, too, has a high percentage of water but also contains a high volume of sugar, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of fruit we eat. Fruit contains many invaluable substances that are greatly beneficial to the human body, especially vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, and minerals.

We need to address dry fruit because of its high energy values. It is tasty and healthy, too, but its high concentration of sugar means we should not consume too much.

VITAMINS

Both fruit and vegetables provide plenty of benefits, but the most important one is the presence of vitamins. These are substances that our body is not able to produce (except of small amounts of vitamins A and D). This means we need to source them from our diet. Vitamins assist with the metabolic and energy processes in our body. As athletes are generally extremely active, they require two or three times more vitamins than people who do not do any sport.

Vitamins can be divided into:

  • vitamins soluble in water (C, B complex, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, Biotin)
  • vitamins soluble in fats (A, D, E, K)
  • antioxidants (C, E, beta-carotene, B1, B6, trace elements, selenium, and zinc)

MINERALS

Minerals form another important part of our diet. As they are excluded from the body through sweat, urine and in the faeces, they need to be permanently supplemented. The minerals that athletes need most are sodium chloride, calcium, and magnesium.

The right intake of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals is as important as good training itself. We can learn more about this topic from our trainer.

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