Our expert says:
If you are always exhausted and tired, then the first thing you need to determine is if you suffer from iron deficiency or vit B12 deficiency anaemia. Anaemia can make you feel totally knocked out, esp if you are also training so hard. If you don't have an anaemia, then I think you need to increase your carbohydrate intake. Carbs are the best fuel for muscles and all the top athletes like the cyclists who participate in the Tour de France, obtain up to 70% or more of their daily energy from carbohydrates. It is not enough that you keep yourself hydrated - you also need to drink energy drinks (flavoured milk or Powerade/Energade/ Lucozade) while cycling those long distances. The suggested drinks (esp the milk) contain liquid for hydration, electrolytes (sodium, potassium) to prevent electrolyte depletion (this is what makes marathon runners collapse and even die), and in the case of the flavoured milk, some protein to help your muscles recover after exercise. If you are serious about your cycling (and I believe you are) then it may be a good idea to consult a consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who specialises in sports nutrition. The dietitian will help you with a diet that can support your strenuous exercise programme and ensure that you recover properly (replenishment of your liver and muscle glycogen stores, and repair of muscle damage). In the meanwhile click on 'Diet'nFood' and do a search for 'Diets for sportsmen and women' to read up on carbohydrate requirements and carbo-loading.
But do have your iron and vit B12 levels checked first.
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