HomeAnswersIs pasta good for cycling?

Is pasta good for cycling?

This question is about Nutrition
Sarah Achleithner, health and wellness writer
Yes, pasta is a good fuel source for cyclists, as pasta is easy to digest, low in fat, and high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for working muscles. When consumed, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and used for energy upon consumption or stored for later in the liver and muscle tissue as glycogen [1]. Since pasta is a source of carbohydrates, it provides the body with the necessary fuel to engage in and sustain high-intensity endurance exercise such as cycling. It can also be used as post-workout fuel to replenish energy stores.
Research has shown that consuming low glycemic carbohydrates, like pasta, 1-4 hours before endurance exercise, can increase cycling time to exhaustion and enhance work output compared to higher glycemic, carbohydrate-rich foods [2].
Pasta drizzled with pesto on a black plate on a dark background
[2] Burke, L. M., Claassen, A., Hawley, J. A., & Noakes, T. D. (1998). Carbohydrate intake during prolonged cycling minimizes effect of glycemic index of preexercise meal. Journal of Applied Physiology, 85(6), 2220–2226. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1998.85.6.2220

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