Which nutritional advice does one of Belgium's best marathon mountain bikers have for you? Frans Claes shares his experiences and recommendations with our products.
As a mountain biker you definitely need sports nutrition for efforts longer than 1.5 hours. Mountain bikers are often presented with challenging routes and as a result you will use up your energy supplies quite quickly. With the right sports nutrition you fortunately can supplement these losses!
The advantage of natural sports nutrition such as Innerme is that, in addition to providing the right energy, it will ensure optimal recovery because Innerme sports nutrition, for example, is not taxing on your stomach and intestines. Your body will only have to recover from your effort without it having to clean up unnecessary and industrial ingredients. This means you will recover more efficiently anyway, which is certainly important in heavier training periods or in multi-day stage competitions.
Sports nutrition you can eat BEFORE a mountain bike race or training:
Miso soup: this provides good salts, amino acids and probiotics. You can make this fresh or buy it in instant form. We also refer to Dirk Baelus' book on how to make real miso soup.
Cereal porridge, mochi or pancakes: oat porridge (boiled with water, rice milk, almond milk or other cereal milk), 'teff' porridge or other cereal porridge. Mochi is pounded sweet rice. You can bake this in coconut oil or cook it into miso soup. Don't hesitate to add fruit, dried fruit, nuts (or nut butter) & seeds to the grain porridge.
Supplement this with a small portion of protein (important): nuts already provide some protein. You can also make a small shake with the Innerme Protein Mixes.
Sports nutrition you can eat DURING a mountain bike race or training:
You can easily eat an energy bar or energy gel up to 30 minutes before the start. They are easily digestible, do not upset your stomach and provide the right energy.
After 1 hour, per hour:
- 500ml isotonic energy drink (= 4 scoops of powder of 10g)
- 1 energy gel ‘performance’ 40g or
1 energy gel ‘fast’ lemon 35g or
energy bar 40g (flavor of your choice)
For extra salt , against acidification and extra help for the stomach, we recommend 1 umeboshi plum every hour (instead of salt tablets). Please note: this is an uncommon taste in the West. This pickled fruit has a strong salty-sour taste. Top up with water (especially in warm weather).
Sports nutrition you can consume AFTER a mountain bike race or training:
Within 30 minutes after exercise, take one portion of protein mix with rice milk. You can also supplement with one protein bar.
Frans Claes' experiences with Innerme:
How do you use Innerme?
During competitions I take the isotonic energy drink (1 liter per hour) in combination with energy gels (1 every half hour). Depending on the race course and the effort, I take the 'fast' gels or the 'endurance' gels. I usually start with the 'endurance' gels and end with a 'fast' gel to have that little bit of extra gunpowder in my legs in the race finally.
During longer workouts I prefer bars to gels and, depending on the duration, weather and intensity of the workout, I eat more or fewer bars. For training sessions longer than 5 hours, 1 bar per hour is a minimum I consume. I then combine this with water or the isotonic energy drink. In extremely hot or cold weather, I take some extra isotonic energy drinks with me to absorb sufficient salts and minerals in addition to the extra energy provided.
Immediately after an effort, my focus is mainly on fluid and energy absorption. I often drink 1 liter of isotonic energy or consume the balance drink.
A little later after the effort I eat an extra energy bar and/or a protein bar.
In the days after heavy exertion, such as stage races, I often eat a protein bar as a snack and the balance drink is my favorite drink. I sometimes take this drink diluted with water during training.
How have Innerme products supported your performance over the last 2 years?
Over the past two seasons I have been able to compete at a higher level than before. For example, last year I had 45 racing days under my belt and this year I will at least equal that record. With the exception of a few bad days, I have had a consistent season since I started using Innerme, with some nice top achievements
In my opinion, the Innerme products are easier to absorb and help the body to recover faster. During my efforts I have never had any stomach or stomach issues. Due to its pure and organic form, Innerme provides me with clean energy and will also give me a lot of natural strength in the long term!
Further MTB tips from Frans
Mountain biking is very different from triathlon or road bike rides because the course profile plays an important role in when and where you can/must drink and eat. Make a nutrition plan that takes into consideration eating and drinking when the course allows it. I make a schedule that I try to follow and adjust it depending on the route. For example, if you have to cross two high mountains and you finish with a long descent, you will obviously have to adjust your regular schedule.
When you participate in competitions, make sure that your gels, bars and drinks are easily accessible so that you can quickly absorb energy and fluid between the technical or tricky parts of a race. For example, you can stick gels on top of the bicycle frame with tape. Before the start of a race I also drink half a liter of isotonic energy drink and 5 minutes before the gun goes off I take an endurance gel. In the first hour of a race, things go very quickly and it is often too hectic to take a gel or drink enough. This way I can be sure that I have enough energy at the start of a race.