Requirements for mountain climbing

Cycling itself already requires a great deal of preparation, both in terms of nutrition and training, but for mountain climbing the requirements are even higher. Mountain climbing demands extra strength, which can be gained through training on hilly routes. But training alone is not enough. The right nutrition is also essential to getting over those hills. Getting the right nutrition will give you that extra push to the top.

Preparation is important

When preparing yourself for cycle training in the hills, you have to consider your nutrition for the day of the event itself. Mountain climbing demands huge amounts of energy from the body, and it is therefore important that you get enough carbohydrates to optimise performance. In the week leading up to the race, it is important to increase your carbohydrate consumption by approximately 10-15%.

Reaching the summit with Etixx

If you store enough carbohydrates the day before cycling, then you will be able to endure 70 to 90 minutes of intensive exercise. After this, you will have to supplement additional fuel (carbohydrates) in order to avoid sudden fatigue. When cycling on hilly routes, it is important to pay attention to the timing of the consumption of carbohydrates. If the route is short, then it is important to consume the carbohydrates just before starting the climb. For longer climbs, it is better to consume them while climbing to give yourself the boost you need to get to the top. Don’t forget that it is very important to first test your fuel supply strategy during training. Jump on your bike, climb some hills with fuel in your pocket, and find out for yourself when the best time to refuel is.

 

Preparation period

Daily nutrition advice for cyclists

In general, cyclists require more vitamins and minerals because of the exercise they do. Due to overworking and excess fertilisation, our agricultural land has been degraded, so that fruit and vegetables now contain less vitamins and minerals than roughly 50 years ago. This lower level of vitamins and minerals, combined with lower consumption of fruit and vegetables in general, means that cyclists have to pay extra attention to this. For this reason, extra supplements are highly recommended.

  • Magnesium 2000 AA contributes to normal muscle function and reduction of fatigue
  • Amino acid chelate form for better absorption
  • Contains vitamin C for extra muscle protection
  • Delicious orange flavour
  • Alternative: Magnesium Instant Sticks (easy to take without water)

Use: 4 weeks in advance, 1 tablet in 200 ml water.

AND/OR

  • Multimax contains high levels of vitamins, minerals and trace elements
  • A balanced recipe for athletes
  • Amino acid chelate form for better absorption

Use: 4 weeks in advance, 2 tablets per day

 

Before exercise

Eat and drink before exercise in order to make the best possible gains.

Drink:

Our level of performance is directly proportional to our loss of moisture. It is important to start your training sessions properly hydrated. Pre-hydration starts the day before exercise, and mainly involves drinking water. The colour of your urine is a good indication of whether you are sufficiently hydrated. Dark yellow urine is a sign that you have not drunk enough. A light yellow colour indicates that you are well hydrated. During the meal before your session (3 hours before) or 10 minutes before the exercise, you can drink a sports drink to hydrate and get some extra carbohydrates.

  • Ideal isotonic thirst quencher
  • For optimum hydration (electrolytes & moisture) and fuel (carbohydrates)
  • Replenishes the electrolytes that we lose by sweating
  • Helps to retain moisture during exercise
  • Neutral pH to prevent stomach pain
  • Choice of 3 flavours: watermelon, orange-mango & lemon

Use: 3 hours in advance: 500ml Etixx Isotonic, 10 minutes in advance: 250ml Etixx Isotonic

OR (if exercise lasts longer than 90 minutes)

  • Extra carbohydrate supplementation
  • Optimal fuel supply: 66 g/500 ml
  • Energy drink that can be drunk warm or cold
  • 1 flavour: forest fruits

Use: 3 hours in advance: 500ml Etixx Carbo-Gy, 10 minutes in advance: 250ml Etixx Carbo-Gy

Nutrition:

  • Energy Sport Bar with ± 30 grams carbohydrate for long-lasting energy supply
  • Can be eaten as a carbohydrate rich snack
  • Added magnesium supports energy production and muscle function
  • Low fat and fibre, so it’s easy to digest
  • Choice of 4 flavours: orange, raspberry, chocolate & lemon

Use: 1 Energy Bar up to 30 minutes in advance

 

During exercise

Eat and drink something during exercise in order to gain as much performance as possible.

The amount of moisture that you will lose during exercise depends on duration, intensity, genetics, body size and various environmental factors such as humidity and temperature. It is therefore not entirely clear how much you should drink while exercising. A very good way to determine how much moisture you need to consume is to use some scales on a day during which you will be training. Weigh yourself before and after training, and multiply the lost weight by 1.5. The outcome is the quantity of fluid that you need to consume in order to compensate for what you lost as sweat.

In order to perform during long periods of exercise, the muscles must have enough glycogen, and that is why it is important to consume carbohydrates while training and replenish these reserves. If no carbohydrates are consumed during long periods of intensive exercise, glycogen in the muscles will become depleted after 90 minutes. The image below shows how much carbohydrate must be consumed, because requirements depend on the duration of the exercise:

You can choose to consume carbohydrates during exercise in liquid, semi-liquid or solid form. The more liquid the food, the faster the carbohydrates will be absorbed during exercise. In stress situations, preference is always given to liquid sources of carbohydrate, because our digestive system does not work optimally when we are under stress.

  • Ideal isotonic thirst quencher
  • For optimum hydration (electrolytes & moisture) and fuel (carbohydrates)
  • Replenishes the electrolytes that we lose by sweating
  • Helps to retain moisture during exercise
  • Neutral pH to prevent stomach pain
  • Choice of 3 flavours: watermelon, orange-mango & lemon

Use:dissolve 35g (2 scoops) in 500ml water

AND/OR

  • Energy Sport Bar with ± 30 grams carbohydrate for long-lasting energy supply
  • Can be eaten as a carbohydrate rich snack
  • Added magnesium supports energy production and muscle function
  • Low fat and fibre, so it’s easy to digest
  • Choice of 4 flavours: orange, raspberry, chocolate & lemon

Use: 1 or 2 bars per hour of exercise

AND/OR

  • Nutritional Energy Gel with unique three phase sugar mixture (± 30 grams carbohydrate)
  • Fast energy boost (after approx. 10 minutes)
  • Long-lasting effect

Use: 1 or 2 gels per hour of exercise

 

After exercise

Eat and drink something after exercise in order to recover as quickly as possible

Proper recovery after training is crucially important, because strangely enough, your body gets stronger and fitter after exercise, not during. In line with the motto “You’re only as good as your last recovery”, it is important to pay attention to what you eat and drink after exercise. This determines how much you will gain from your training. Often, you have to drive or catch a bus, or rush to your next appointment, so you do not immediately supply your body with the building materials it needs to ensure proper recovery. This can cause you to start your next training with fatigue, potentially causing you to enter a negative spiral. This can result in delayed progress, or even injury. What you should do, is provide your body with fuel and the right nutrition as fast as possible.

  • Recovery Shake with very high grade proteins (whey protein isolate) for rapid recovery
  • With ‘fast’ sugars for optimal replenishment of glycogen in the muscles
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Choice of 2 flavours: raspberry-kiwi and chocolate

Use: immediately after exercise

OR (If you would rather eat something after exercise)

  • Recovery Bar with very high grade proteins (whey protein isolate) for rapid recovery
  • With ‘fast’ sugars for optimal replenishment of glycogen in the muscles
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
  • 1 flavour: caramel

Use: immediately after exercise

 

Advanced plan

For those who are ready to go one step further and to take on challenges that are just within their potential. The products below can help you here, depending on your goals.

  • Ginseng & Guarana Energy Gel with natural caffeine + vitamin C for an extra physical and mental energy boost
  • Contains alcohol for faster sugar absorption
  • Ideal for moments that really matter (sprint at the end of a race)
  • Choice of 2 flavours: forest fruits and maracuja

Use: before exercise: 10 minutes before, during exercise: 1 or 2 gels per hour of exercise

AND/OR

  • Isotonic Energy Gel with electrolytes, ideal during hot weather
  • Contains citrates to reduce acidification
  • Can be taken with or without water
  • Can be used as an Isotonic sports drink (1 gel in 350 ml water)
  • 1 flavour: lime

Use: before exercise: 10 minutes before, during exercise: 1 or 2 gels per hour of exercise

AND/OR

  • Beta Alanine Slow Release for long periods of intensive exercise
  • Ideal for postponing acidification of the muscles
  • Works for both recreational and trained athletes

Use:Loading phase: at least 4 weeks 3.2 g/day (2 x 2 tablets)

AND/OR

  • Arginine increases blood and oxygen supply to the muscles
  • Contains iron that contributes to healthy energy metabolism
  • Increases the aerobic capacity and is therefore ideal for endurance athletes

Use: 1 - 3 tablets, 1.5h before exercise

AND/OR

  • Iron 125 AA is a high-dose iron preparation
  • Contains vitamins and minerals that assist in better absorption of iron
  • Improves the transport and storage of oxygen in the muscles

Use: at least 4 weeks (1 tablet per day)

AND/OR

  • HMB with proteins that help reduce muscle degradation and support muscle growth after training
  • Degradation product of the essential amino acid leucine, that is important for protein synthesis
  • Ideal for the start of preparation periods or in case of injury

Use: at least 4 weeks (2 x 2 tablets)

AND/OR

  • High Protein Shake with qualitative proteins for optimum muscle growth
  • >95% pure Whey Isolate (24 grams protein)
  • No added carbohydrates, fats or salt
  • Ideal during the preparation period, after gentle recovery training or to support weight control

Use: immediately after exercise

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The nutrition and supplementation advice on this site is based on contemporary scientific literature and limited individual data provided voluntarily by our customers. That is why this advice cannot be considered to be fully personalised advice with prior diagnosis. We recommend always seeking individual advice from a professional in the healthcare sector (for example: a pharmacist, sports doctor or sports dietitian). Despite taking the greatest care to keep up to date with the latest scientific insights in the field of nutrition and dietary supplements, we cannot guarantee that these are immediately incorporated into our advice. That is why we cannot accept liability for the accuracy of our advice.