Supplements

Benefits Of Commuting By Bike | Supplements For Cycling

Nutritionally reviewed by Jennifer Blow

Are you bored stiff from sitting in traffic? Looking for a way to squeeze in sport around a busy schedule? Cycling to and from work could be the answer…

New cycle paths and bike-to-work schemes mean it’s easier than ever to get your hands on a bike to conquer your commute. There are the obvious benefits such as saving on fuel, but there are plenty of other bonuses that your bike to work brings. Research shows that a quick cardio commute can turbocharge your health – here’s how:

  • Regular cycling cuts the risk of death from any cause by a huge 41%.1
  • Your chances of developing cancer are slashed by up to 45%.2
  • Cycling 3 x 45 minutes per week could lower your biological age by 9 years.3
  • Over time, people who commute by car daily tend to gain more weight than those who don’t, even if they’re physically active at other times.4

health benefits of cycling commute

So, what other reasons could you possibly need other than that you’ll be saving your life and your money? If you’re ready to take to the saddle, we’ve got some two-wheeling wonders to get you on track.

We’ve teamed up with Insync – the UK cycle business that’s owned by the world’s biggest bike manufacturer, Hero Cycles. Check out our favourite Insync beauties…

The Viking Retro Roadie

Viking has been around for over a century and their quality bikes are enough to prove their experience. The Retro Roadie is an ideal commuter bike that provides both style and comfort for your commute.

Riddick RD800 650 B Alloy Mountain Bike (MTB)

If you’re looking to invest and take on some serious trails, then this mountain bike will have you ready for anything. It’s an all-new 2018 model – read the spec here.

 

The Next Step

If you’ve caught the bike bug, there are heaps of trails you can take – road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, so take your pick. If you’re getting competitive (even if it’s only against yourself) then there are ways that you can really boost your performance. A good place to start is your diet – and alongside eating right, you might want to consider supplements for cycling to get the most out of your ride.

 

Should You Try Cycling Supplements?

Are you lagging at the back of the pack, or did you fly off the start only to hit the wall at halfway? Whether it’s road cycling or mountain biking, pushing it hard for kilometres makes you an endurance athlete, so you need to fuel your body with this in mind. Alongside a balanced diet, taking the right supplements for cycling could be the difference between a Froome-like performance and the ultimate fail. Here’s a few that we wouldn’t hit the road or trail without.

 

Pre-Ride Supplements for Cycling

mountain bike supplements

THE Pre-Workout+


There’s nothing out there that’ll get you pedalling like a pro more than THE Pre-Workout+. The fruity flavours will get your taste buds tingling while the PhaseTech™ phased-release caffeine will keep your muscles motoring.

This isn’t the only perk either – we’ve added VASO6™ and hawthorn berry extract for their vasodilating effects. By increasing blood flow, more oxygen can reach the muscles which results in increased energy production.5 How’s that for a pre-ride pick-me-up?

 

Creatine


This supplement is one of the most researched out there, and there’s actually quite a bit on the benefits for cycling too. Creatine is the gold standard for improving workout rate and time to tiredness over a short sprint.6

Some research also suggests that creatine could help the body to use oxygen more efficiently by improving your exercise capacity,7 which means less heavy breathing and more pedal power.

 

Beta-Alanine


Beta-alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine, which when ingested, turns into carnosine. Carnosine acts as a buffer in the body to stop pH levels in the blood from dropping too low.8

In terms of supplements for cycling, studies have shown that taking this supplement can significantly enhance sprint performance at the end of an endurance race or ride – great news for that final race for the line, or just that push to the front of the pack.9

 

Mid-Ride Supplements for Cycling

cyclist nutrition

Energy Elite™ Gel


An energy gel could be the answer to refuelling your mid-ride motor. Energy Elite™ contains an impressive 25g of carbohydrates to re-energise your muscles.10 The blend of B vitamins also provides a number of benefits such as reduction of fatigue, improving glycogen metabolism for energy and boosting the immune system.11

 

Electrolyte Powder


Simply add to your drink and off you go. Electrolyte Powder is an ideal way to stop the sweat slowing you down. Perspiring means losing salts and can lead to dehydration if you don’t top up your electrolyte and liquid levels.12

Adding electrolytes to your water bottle will provide you with sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium which are important for lots of bodily functions, including muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmission – important processes that allow you to push down on those pedals.13

 

Post-Ride Supplements for Cycling

post-ride supplements for cycling

Whey Protein


Protein is the answer to your sore legs after a tough training ride or race, as it helps with muscle repair and growth. Whey protein powder is a convenient and tasty way to make sure that you’re getting the nutrition you need.14 If you want to power up your thighs, then having a post-workout shake could be the key to your success as it encourages muscle protein synthesis.15

Our high-quality Impact Whey provides you with all the essential amino acids, including 4.5g of BCAAs and 3.6g of glutamine. Coming in at only 103 calories per shake, you can afford this reward without the guilt of trying to stay lean enough to hit those hill climbs too.

 

THE Whey+


This blend will blow your cycling socks off. High quality protein isolate and Groplex™ – a blend of fast- and slow-digesting protein – is the push off for this superior protein powder.

The PhaseTech™ technology slowly releases BCAAs from beadlets, with additional leucine and glutamine for hours of protein repair. There’s no doubt that THE Whey+ is top of the list of supplements for cycling enthusiasts who want to be back on their bike as soon as possible.

 

Vitamin D


Although cycling is a very low-impact sport, you need supple joints to keep the wheels turning. Research also recommends taking up a higher impact sport, such as running to keep your bones strong.16 That’s why Vitamin D is one of the essentials for cycling, as it helps calcium absorption which is needed for stronger bones and muscles.17

Studies have also shown that a large percentage of the UK population suffer from vitamin D deficiency (sunny much?), so keeping topped up is even more important for those relying on their joints, bones and muscles for tough activities.18

supplements for cycling

Take Home Message

There’s no doubt that a cycle commute will benefit your health and your wallet, and taking it to the next level is a great way to challenge yourself and keep fit. Cycling is an endurance sport that’s tough on your lungs as well as your legs, so giving your body the right fuel is key. These supplements for cycling should have you on your way to the front of the pack and smashing those final sprints.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.


1-2 Celis-Morales, C. A., Lyall, D. M., Welsh, P., Anderson, J., Steell, L., Guo, Y., … & Gill, J. M. (2017). Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study. bmj, 357, j1456.

3 Cherkas, L. F., Hunkin, J. L., Kato, B. S., Richards, J. B., Gardner, J. P., Surdulescu, G. L., … & Aviv, A. (2008). The association between physical activity in leisure time and leukocyte telomere length. Archives of internal medicine, 168(2), 154-158.

4 Sugiyama, T., Ding, D., & Owen, N. (2013). Commuting by car: weight gain among physically active adults. American journal of preventive medicine, 44(2), 169-173.

5 Smith, J. C., Stephens, D. P., Hall, E. L., Jackson, A. W., & Earnest, C. P. (1998). Effect of oral creatine ingestion on parameters of the work rate-time relationship and time to exhaustion in high-intensity cycling. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology77(4), 360-365.

6 Jones, A. M., Carter, H., Pringle, J. S., & Campbell, I. T. (2002). Effect of creatine supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during submaximal cycle exercise. Journal of applied physiology92(6), 2571-2577.

Van, R. T., Van, K. P., Vanden, B. E., Puype, J., Lefere, T., & Hespel, P. (2009). Beta-alanine improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. Medicine and science in sports and exercise41(4), 898-903.

8-9 Artioli, G. G., Gualano, B., Smith, A., Stout, J., & Lancha Jr, A. H. (2010). Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42(6), 1162-1173.

10 Coggan, A. R., & Coyle, E. F. (1991). Carbohydrate ingestion during prolonged exercise: effects on metabolism and performance. Exercise and sport sciences reviews19, 1-40.

11 Kennedy, D. O. (2016). B vitamins and the brain: Mechanisms, dose and efficacy—A review. Nutrients8(2), 68.

12 Von Duvillard, S. P., Braun, W. A., Markofski, M., Beneke, R., & Leithäuser, R. (2004). Fluids and hydration in prolonged endurance performance. Nutrition20(7-8), 651-656.

13 Kraemer, W. J., Fleck, S. J., & Deschenes, M. R. (2011). Exercise physiology: integrating theory and application. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

14-15 Hayes, A., & Cribb, P. J. (2008). Effect of whey protein isolate on strength, body composition and muscle hypertrophy during resistance training. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care11(1), 40-44.

16 Nichols, J. F., Palmer, J. E., & Levy, S. S. (2003). Low bone mineral density in highly trained male master cyclists. Osteoporosis International14(8), 644-649.

17 Pearce, S. H., & Cheetham, T. D. (2010). Diagnosis and management of vitamin D deficiency. Bmj340(7738), 142-147.

18 Holick, M. F. (1996). Vitamin D and bone health. The Journal of nutrition126(suppl_4), 1159S-1164S.

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Evangeline Howarth

Evangeline Howarth

Editor

Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.

In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!

Find out more about Evie's experience here.


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