Meal prepping can be hard, so let’s learn how to figure out what your body needs and plan accordingly. We’re going to deep dive into nutrition and set up a plan that complements your body type and gives your body the nutrition it needs to perform at optimum levels. We will also give you some meal prep ideas to help you create a meal plan that works best for you.
A lot of this might seem very “body building” ish, but it’s important to know this information so that you can set your body & your racing career up for success. You don’t have to track each macronutrient to perfection, just know the numbers and try to get close.
Ok, let’s get started.
Basic Caloric Needs
First we need to figure out what your resting metabolic rate is. There are a variety of factors and even more calculations that can determine what your BMR (base metabolic rate) is, but we’re going to stick with simple here. MyFitnessPal.com has a simple calculator to help you get a starting number.
Go ahead and get that number now.
Do you have it? Ok let’s move on…
Are you training every day? How long are you training for? What type of training is it? Figure out what your training looks like and let’s determine the amount of calories you’re burning during those training sessions. If you’re riding the bike for training you can safely bet around 300-800+ calories per hour of riding. Keep in mind, this is only an estimate. Calories burned will vary by body type, body weight, heart rate, exertion level, etc. So your number could be higher or lower depending on your riding. Also, are you training in the gym during the day too?
If you can, get a heart rate monitor to help you better judge how many calories you’re actually burning during exercise.
Okay, so now we’ve figured out what our BRM is and now we have a good idea of how many calories we might be burning throughout the day. Let’s do a quick calculation of what our caloric intake may need to be.
Formula: [BMR] + [Calories Burned] = Our Daily Calorie Needs
Example (200lbs, 6’0″, Male, 20 years old = 1,945 cal + Avg. Riding 3 hrs/day ~ 1800 cal ):
1945cal + 1800cal = 3745 calories / day
The above example is, of course, assuming that the riding being done is the full duration and that the intensity wasn’t super high. Here’s a great calculator for determining how many calories you might be burning if you have a heart rate monitor.
So the above rider would need roughly 3750 calories to sustain his efforts throughout each day. This may seem like a lot to many people and it is, but you have to realize that you’re participating in an “extreme sport” that requires elevated heart rates and physical exhaustion to their limits. This type of sport requires a ton of fuel to prevent plateaus and injuries as well as allow the body to perform at optimum levels.
As long as you’re staying around the specific number that you come up with for yourself, you won’t be putting mass on or really losing any weight. You’ll be keeping your caloric intake where it needs to be to allow your body to perform at the levels you’re asking of it.
Now let’s cover some meal prep ideas to help the above rider get to that daunting number.
Meal Prep Ideas
There are many ways to go about hitting that big number. But not all of them are easy. Especially, if you’re wanting to get your racing career on the right track by eating healthy.
For me, I like a 50/50 split of solid meal and liquid meals. Some people can’t do liquid meals and that’s ok it’s not for them. Do what works best for you. Before you say absolutely no though, let me go over the benefits of each and then you can make your own decision.
Solid meals are great! There’s no getting around the satisfaction of chewing food. Some meals are fairly easy to make, others take some time. The hard part comes when you try to calculate out the macros you need with each meal. You’ll need to do some weighing of meat, portioning of vegetables and carbs, etc. Doing this day in and day out gets daunting! Which is why I only do if for certain meals. For the others, I use a shake. But not just “any” shake, I’ll let you in on the shakes that I and the riders I train drink.
The only downside to liquid meals that I’m aware of, is that there’s no “chewing” sensation. Which sometimes psychologically makes people feel that they haven’t eaten anything. I ran into this trouble trying to choose a shake that fit the needs of myself and the riders I train.
There are a lot of positives to liquid meals. They are super easy and quick to make. There’s very little prep work that needs to be done. You don’t have to do a ton of dishes when you’re done cooking. They’re inexpensive (if you get them at wholesale). The list goes on and on, those are just a few good reasons.
If you think you might want to skip some of the headache of cooking solid meals (for every meal) day in and day out, prepping them, packaging them and making sure you have them throughout the day, this is an example of what my meal plan looks like.
You might ask, will I get all the nutrition I need from shakes? Or won’t I feel hungry if I’m not eating “real” food? The answer is yes, you will get all the nutrition you need from these shakes and no you will not get hungry (usually, depends on your activity levels).
If you have your own shake that you think will work, that’s fine. You’re free to use that, just know that most (if not all) the stuff you get off the counters from GNC, Complete Nutrition, etc (the box stores), aren’t tested to prove what they “say” is in them is “actually” what is in them. Also, a lot of those shakes are designed around your body’s need for a “balanced meal”.
Now that I have that crap out of the way, if you think you’re ready to get started with liquid meals, let’s get this show on the road.
These shakes are part of a larger system that can take your performance to the next level. If you are serious about racing, shoot me an email and we’ll get you started on the right track.
Make sure that you calculate what your current BMR is and know about about how much your training. Once you have your numbers, you can use my example meal plan to plan out each of your days and get your body on the right track.
I hope these meal prep ideas were helpful. As always, if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email and I’ll answer them to the best of my abilities!