The motocross racer's diet

Okay, so you’re training hard.  Maybe you didn’t get to Loretta Lynn’s this year, but you want to more than ready for the Mini Olympics.  You are in the gym lifting and doing motos on a stationary bike and throwing down 30 minute motos at the track.  However, if you don’t have a carbohydrate and protein rich diet, all that training won’t be as effective. 

I know I tell you to stay away from some food, but this is stuff you really need.  Carbohydrates are extremely important because they provide the energy needed to train, ride and race.  When the carbohydrates you consume are broken down, the glycogen is converted to glucose and used for energy.  Many endurance athletes such as marathon runners, swimmers and cyclists’ carb load a few days before the event.  When a majority of their calories are from carbs, they have plenty of glycogen to use for energy.  There are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple and complex.  The simple carbs are good for after workout, to quickly replenish your glycogen levels.  Good simple carbs are found in fruits, honey and sugar.  Complex carbs are your pastas, rice, cereal and grain products.    

Finding a good balanced diet will help you throughout your training.As motocross athletes, we don’t need to carb load.  However, we still need a good amount because of the cardio we do.  As I stated before in my interval training basics, when you work in the aerobic range, you burn more fat than carbs.  But, as your heart rate increases into the anaerobic range, you burn more carbs than fat.  Motocross racers need both ranges, so carbs help us tremendously.  The daily recommendation for carbohydrate intake is about 250g, so maybe eating around 300g would be good.  Remember, although our motos can be long, we are still not considered “endurance athletes”.

Protein is essential.  Even if you are not into strength training, you still need it.  Protein rebuilds muscle and tissues.  It is the building block of life….so it’s kind of important, to say the least.  If you don’t want to bulk up, lean proteins like chicken, fish, beans and nuts provide an excellent source of protein for you.  However, if you are thin, getting more muscle on your frame is a good idea.  You can help prevent injury when crashing and your joints, tendons and ligaments will be stronger as well. 

Just like carbohydrates, protein has a certain required amount for athletes.  Normally, the amount of protein you need is your body weight in kilograms times 1.4 – 1.6. 

For example, I am 175 lbs.  To get my weight in kilos, I divide by 2.2.  So its 175/2.2 = 79.5.  Then, I take 1.5 (a nice middle number) and multiple it with 79.5, which gives me 119.3 grams.  This is the amount of protein I would ideally need.  Now, if you are lifting more to get some more mass, try 1.6.  But, if you are not lifting as much, go with 1.4. 

Getting a balance between carbs and protein is essential for a solid athlete.  Of course, you still need your vitamins, fruits and vegetables.  However, the carbs and protein provide you with the energy and building blocks to maintain your condition and help you succeed.

Posted on Aug 13 2009, under Nutrition | No Comments »

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