Cyclists…, you gotta be smart with this.
Nutrient dense foods will get your body firing from all cylinders. Use this every day during any given time of the day.
When not to focus on high nutrient dense foods? When you are in high demand for fuel. In other words, during a ride, or right before a ride.
Let me explain. Nutrient density is just the amount of nutrients a food has compared to amount of calories.
For example, a doughnut has a low nutrient density. Not a lot of vitamins and minerals, and a lot of calories. The problem with this is that you are filling up on a food that is not giving you the nutrition you need. If a doughnut had as much iron and zinc as a steak, then it may be worth it. But it doesn’t. You may have heard the term “empty calories.” That means it’s all calories and minimal nutrients.
Sooooo, if you are killing it on the bike, then I have good news for you. Eat a doughnut! It is just fuel, and you definitely need plenty of fuel. You are probably eating a TON of other foods throughout the day, hopefully which includes some high nutrient dense stuff.
But… I’m… only… logging… 3 hours… per… week. The point is that we need to eat high nutrient density foods so that we get as many vitamins and minerals as possible, and as much fiber as possible.
Some good examples would be vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and whole grains.
The more of these high nutrient dense foods you incorporate into your diet, the less unnecessary calories you will take in. Unless of course you need the extra fuel. In which case, you will rely on CALORIE dense foods for your workouts. For your workouts, you will want some refined carbs for quick and easy digestion.
Soooooo, eat the nutrient rich stuff most of the time, and use the rest for fuel.