Spinning classes can really take it out of you, and without the proper fuel, your body won’t be able to repair itself. Don’t make all of that training for nothing! Here are our top nutrition tips for your spin cycle classes – please note, everyone is different and what might be suitable for Tom doesn’t work for Dick and Harry. Only you can truly determine what would work best for you!
Drink water! Your body is predominantly made up of water molecules, and the recommended daily fluid intake is about 2 litres. Stay hydrated up until about two hours before your class, as the kidneys take about 60-90 minutes to flush out and you don’t want to be dashing off to the bathroom mid-spin! In the fifteen minutes before your class, drink a cup of water to offset all the sweating you’ll do.
While some of us may try to ‘cut carbs’, in reality, we should be consuming over half of our calorie intake from carb-rich foods. After all, carbohydrates contain oxygen and hydrogen molecules, and our wellbeing relies on them. It’s important to know the proper sources of carbohydrates, such as beans, potatoes, brown rice, oats, bananas, yoghurt, and even blueberries.
Make sure that you have fuelled up your body before exercise, but be considerate of how your body would cope – it might not be so keen on spinning after a huge meal! While everyone is different, usually smaller meals need 2-3 hours to digest, while liquid or smoothie meals require 1-2 hours. A small bowl of oats with chopped banana and cinnamon or a blueberry smoothie would provide your body with the energy to sustain your spin class so that you’ll burn more fat and repair muscles faster, and are both liquid-based light meals.
Drink more water. Most of us will sweat out at least a litre during a spin class, and that needs to be replenished to keep your body running at an optimum level. If you can, drink an electrolyte formula, or a natural alternative such as coconut water. Try out a little experiment; Weigh yourself before your spin class, then ensure that you’re drinking 1 litre of water during spin. Afterwards, weigh yourself again. If you weigh less than when you started, you need a bigger drink bottle, because that amount is your sweat deficit that you’ll need to make back in fluid. If you weigh the same, you effectively replenished your natural fluid levels with your current intake. If you weigh more, you did not sweat out 1 litre.
Water will help to mobilise the lactic acid build up, to help stave off muscle soreness and encourage recovery. Stay hydrated throughout the following hours, and give your body some energy so that it can repair your muscles efficiently. A balance of carbohydrates and proteins will be just the tonic, such as a protein shake or poached eggs on toast.