Cycling is a sport that demands too much, talking about calories is a subject that generates interest. We always want to know how many calories we are burning. It is very easy to make an estimate, the complicated thing is to obtain an exact figure. In cycling offers We present the common questions surrounding the issue of calories.
It is a question that we have always meditated on. How many calories did I just eat? o How many calories will I be burning on the bicycle? Even cyclocomputers can not guarantee an exact figure regarding the burning of calories.
Let's start by making estimates that regularly focus on the cyclist's weight and average speed.
|Average speed||Weight||Calories burned|
|21 km / h||55 kg||440 cal / hr|
|21 km / h||75 kg||600 cal / hr|
|21 km / h||90 kg||720 cal / r|
|24 km / h||55 kg||550 cal / hr|
|24 km / h||75 kg||750 cal / hr|
|24 km / h||90 kg||900 cal / hr|
|29 km / h||55 kg||660 cal / hr|
|29 km / h||75 kg||900 cal / hr|
|29 km / h||90 kg||1080 cal / hr|
Unfortunately they are approximations and getting to exact data is much more complicated. The pulse, the altitude, if there is a small descent and we are not pedaling. Also go to wheel, wind for or against. All these are factors that affect the burning of calories.
Other factors are:
Covers are important when talking about calories. The resistance that these generate with the asphalt, the pressure and the width will be factors to be taken into account. Carrying covers with more pressure will generate less resistance.
Another important factor to handle talking about calorie burning is aerodynamics. The direction of the wind is going to have a big influence on this. The greater its surface the greater the aerodynamic drag. If you have a large body, and a riding position very upright. It will require more energy than normal only to cut the air compared to a slender cyclist who has a large part of his body weight located in the legs.
Diet, too, needs a mention here. The type and quality of the food you eat can affect the speed and efficiency with which you convert fuel into energy. Intense workouts are going to burn mostly carbohydrates. Pedaling at an easier pace you will burn a greater amount of fat, which is explained in more detail below.
How important is calorie counting?
There is no doubt that a balance of energy (calories) matters when it comes to weight loss. Explains Dr. James Betts, associate professor in nutrition and metabolism at the University of Bath. "The long-term changes in the mass are generally proportional in time to the net balance between the energy that enters and exits."
The question of whether all calories are equal has been much debated by scientists for many years. And it has proven to be a controversial issue. Some believe that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from: to lose weight, people simply need to eat less and move more.
Others believe that none of the calories is the same. Whenever you choose the source of your calories carefully, you can lose weight without having to count your daily calorie intake.
Do the calories I eat make a difference on the bicycle?
The calories burned by bicycle do not differ depending on what you eat, but good nutrition will make a difference in your performance. In fact, studies have consistently shown that when people create a caloric deficit, they lose weight. And when people ingest more calories than they need, they gain weight.
Nutrition in cycling. What do the professionals eat?
"To lose weight, you need to be in a state of negative energy balance"
Can the consumption of "good" calories instead of "bad" calories help you lose weight?
Some people claim that you can lose weight without calorie deficit.
In addition, they claim that you can lose more weight with the same caloric deficit by avoiding carbohydrates. That is, the calories from carbohydrates are bad. Since they can be converted into body fat more easily than the "good" calories of protein or fat.
Their argument comes from studies that show greater weight loss of low-carbohydrate diets compared to high-carbohydrate diets. Although the participants claim to eat the same calories.
Proteins The key in cycling
However, when looked at more closely, these studies were conducted in "free living conditions". Which means that the participants were free to choose what and how much they ate. By excluding carbohydrates, people with low carbohydrate levels ended up eating more protein.
When people eat more protein, they feel fuller and consume fewer calories without realizing it. Therefore, the greater weight loss of the participants can be explained by their lower calorie intake.
In studies where calories were more tightly controlled, there is little or no difference in weight loss between high and low carbohydrate diets.
In addition, in long-term studies that last more than six months. People on high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate diets lose approximately the same amount of weight. The bottom line is that calories count: you can not lose weight by eating "good" calories if you do not create a caloric deficit.
A calorie is a calorie ... is not it?
Does the body respond differently to the calories of different nutrients?
By definition, a calorie is a calorie in terms of the energy it produces. However, there is a difference in the way in which the calories of the different macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) are absorbed and metabolized by the body.
Some of the calories consumed are consumed until they digest and process the food and convert it into accessible fuel. This is called the thermal effect of foods. The protein has a much higher thermal effect than the other macronutrients.
Therefore, if you eat 100 protein calories, 25% of these calories will be lost as heat, and only around 70-75% will be absorbed.
In contrast, between 8% and 12% of calories consumed in the form of carbohydrates and between 2% and 3% of calories from fats are consumed in digestion.
We must also take into account the effects that different macronutrients have on satiety, or how full they make you feel. Protein has a higher satiating effect than carbohydrates or fat, so it can help maintain a negative energy balance.
Protein-rich foods, such as eggs, can make you feel sated for longer. In other words, eating protein-rich foods (such as eggs, fish, or milk) will help you feel fuller longer.
This also explains why diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates can produce greater weight loss (at least in the short term) compared to other diets. Proteins cause less hunger, so you eat less spontaneously.
What's wrong with glycogen?
For cyclists who regularly deplete their glycogen stores. It is even more difficult to accumulate fat from excess carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates, they burn instead of other fuels and are stored as glycogen before they become fat.
One study found that carbohydrates are converted to fat only when your glycogen stores are full and when you are on positive energy balance. In this experiment, participants ate 5.000 kcal and 1.000 G of carbohydrates daily for five days.
They did not gain as much body fat as predicted. Instead, much of the excess carbohydrate was used to fuel the normal metabolism (they stopped burning all the other fuels). The more carbohydrates they ate, the greater the energy expenditure.
Secrets to lose weight
Similarly, excessive protein intake results in less fat gain than excessive fat intake. An investigation in Florida, published in 2014. He found that endurance athletes who consumed 800 extra calories of protein per day mainly from protein powder, with an average of 4,4 g / kg per day for eight weeks did not increase in fat, as would be expected.
Theoretically these athletes should have increased from 5 to 6 kilograms of fat but this did not happen.
Each food will have a different effect on our body. If you want to lose weight, you need to focus not only on the number of calories you are eating but also on the source of those calories, your level of activity, the composition of your body and all the other factors mentioned above.
- To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit.
- The idea that some calories are "good" while others are "bad" is misleading.
- It is easier to achieve a calorie deficit if you consume protein. Cooking using healthy recipes will help you monitor where your calories come from.
- The amount of energy that is obtained from food depends on where those calories come from. More energy is needed to digest and process proteins than carbohydrates. Which requires more energy than fat.
Protein has a higher satiating effect than carbohydrates or fats.
- You are less likely to gain extra protein or carbohydrate intake compared to fat. However, this is not a license to eat as much as you want.
- For most cyclists trying to lose weight. Reducing calories in an 15-20% will help increase fat loss.