MartÃnez Iturriaga, Sheila
Introduction: In cycling, there are numerous studies evaluating different nutritional plans to optimize performance. The available literature makes clear that there is much scope for improvement in eating patterns, especially among younger athletes.
Objective: Design a nutritional plan for mountain bike (MTB) athletes belonging to the Spanish cycling squad on the basis of a review of the studies published in the literature.
Material and methods: A literature search was conducted in PubMed using the following MeSH terms: cycling AND nutrition AND mountain bike. Any studies not providing information on nutritional intervention in cyclists were excluded. The target population for the nutritional plan is members of the Spanish cycling squad in the mountain bike (MTB) speciality.
Results: These criteria elicited 15 articles, yielding a final total of 10 after filtering out those not published in the last 5 years. Only 1 recent paper looks at the influence of ingesting casein hydrolysate in repairing tissue damage at the cardiac level in MTB cyclists. The remaining studies furnish no data on nutritional intervention for mountain bike athletes. On foot of the bibliography encountered, a nutritional plan for this discipline was created.
Discussion: Any nutritional intervention must be personalised on the basis of a proper advance nutritional assessment, a study of the sporting practice intensity and duration, the phase (training or competition), and the dietary habits of the athlete.
Conclusions: 1. Taking extra carbohydrates, hydration and supplementation are key to obtaining optimal performance. The foodstuffs to be combined will be: pulses, fruit, dried fruit and nuts, eggs, milk, cereals, rice, vegetables, meat and fish. 2. Dietary education for athletes and/or families is a cornerstone for successful implementation of a nutritional plan. 3. Further studies in the mountain bike discipline are necessary.