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Question
Posted by: mabsie | 2012/03/19

Not enough carbs?

My partner is a very healthy and fit 57 yr old man. He is 1.75M and keeps his weight at a constant 72 kgs. He is a passionate cyclist and cycles 2 - 4 hrs a day and often 50 kls on a Sunday. I see he restricts his carbs quite a lot, not much bread. He enjoys potatoes and rice but his portions are small - half to three quarters a cup. He does not use any additional fat or oil and hardly ever to cook with.

Lately he complains of been tired. I am convinced he is needing more carbs for the amount of exercise he does. Otherwise he is fit and healthy. Any suggestions as to how much carb he should take in per day? Also would be grateful for a suggested days menu including meat, veg, fruit etc.
Grateful thanks.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Mabsie
Your partner has a BMI of 23,5 which is probably spot on for a cyclist. If he is complaining about being tired, he may need to have a medical checkup just to ensure that he does not have an underlying physical problem such as iron-deficiency anaemia. If he is given a clean bill of health, then it is probably a lack of carbohydrates that is not giving him enough energy to train and cycle at full capacity. In general, top cyclists ingest up to 65% of their energy from carbs. If your partner is using up 3500 kcal/day with all his exercise and 55% should be from carbs (1925 kcal/day) this would translate into 480 g of carbs per day. To achieve such an intake he should eat 1-2 portions of carbohydrate-rich food at each meal and 3 times a day in the form of snacks. Examples include: breakfast cereals and porridges; bread, rolls, crackers; rice, samp, pasta; starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob. I do not have specific day menus for athletes as their dietary intake varies too greatly depending on factors like: age, height, weight, level of fitness, type of sport, no of hours of exercise by day, etc. However, I have written many articles on the subject of diets for sportsmen and women. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'DietDoc's articles' and read the articles relating to sportsmen and women, esp about carbo-loading.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/03/20

Dear Mabsie
Your partner has a BMI of 23,5 which is probably spot on for a cyclist. If he is complaining about being tired, he may need to have a medical checkup just to ensure that he does not have an underlying physical problem such as iron-deficiency anaemia. If he is given a clean bill of health, then it is probably a lack of carbohydrates that is not giving him enough energy to train and cycle at full capacity. In general, top cyclists ingest up to 65% of their energy from carbs. If your partner is using up 3500 kcal/day with all his exercise and 55% should be from carbs (1925 kcal/day) this would translate into 480 g of carbs per day. To achieve such an intake he should eat 1-2 portions of carbohydrate-rich food at each meal and 3 times a day in the form of snacks. Examples include: breakfast cereals and porridges; bread, rolls, crackers; rice, samp, pasta; starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn on the cob. I do not have specific day menus for athletes as their dietary intake varies too greatly depending on factors like: age, height, weight, level of fitness, type of sport, no of hours of exercise by day, etc. However, I have written many articles on the subject of diets for sportsmen and women. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'DietDoc's articles' and read the articles relating to sportsmen and women, esp about carbo-loading.
Best regards
DietDoc

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