Protein is an essential nutrient for athletes and key to cycling performance. In this article, we’re going to answer the questions you’ve asked us about what the best protein for cyclists is as a source of energy, as well as why we should consume protein in the first place.
Consuming protein is essential for cyclists, and they should be including protein shakes in their daily diet either before or after training. They can even add intra-training products that include protein in their formulas.
Of course, everyone is different, and the nutritional needs of each cyclist will differ depending on various factors. External intensity factors, such as distance, speed or even environmental factors play a big role in this.
Both training and nutrition are equally as important in the sport.
Protein plays a critical role in improving muscle recovery, and as cycling is a resistance sport, protein intake is essential for muscle tissue health and performance.
In our protein shop, you’ll find a variety of state-of-the-art natural supplements formulated to help you supplement the nutritional deficiencies that can result from cycling. Our protein supplements for cyclists are suitable for vegetarian diets, additive-free, highly concentrated, and come in different format options adapted to your needs and lifestyle.
Want to know learn about the importance of protein for cycling and performance? Here you’ll find a post on that very subject, detailing how much protein you need to take.
Whey Protein for cyclists
Protein can be obtained from both animal and plant sources, although supplementation is often needed to meet the requirements detailed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Why should a cyclist consume whey protein?
With quality ingredients, whey protein will contribute to the maintenance and gain of muscle mass.
One of the most popular ways to increase protein intake is through whey protein, which, depending on the percentage and filtration, can come in different formats:
Whey Protein Concentrate comes from cow’s milk, specifically from whey, as with the rest of whey protein.
So, what’s makes it different? The difference between the three lies in their treatment process, or in the amount of time the whey is centrifuged or filtered to eliminate certain compounds.
Concentrated whey protein is the first step in whey protein.
At HSN, we offer industry-leading Whey Protein Concentrate in our online shop, with more than 30 flavour options: Evowhey Protein 2.0. Dare to try them all?
You also have the raw flavourless option with up to 84% protein: Whey Protein Concentrate 80% 2.0.
Finally, there’s Evonative Whey by the SportSeries line, a native whey protein concentrate. The difference? It’s low temperature treatment, which ensures it provide 22 g of protein per serving.
Isolated whey protein, also known simply as ISO or whey protein isolate, is a superior quality protein thanks to its ultrafiltration.
This means it eliminates a greater amount of fats and carbohydrates, reaching a higher percentage of cow’s milk protein.
Do you know which Whey Protein you should take after your training sessions?
As with the concentrated protein, at HSN you’ll find two versions of protein isolate:
The first is from the RawSeries line, flavourless, and goes by the name 100% Whey Protein Isolate, with 93% protein per serving.
If you prefer to flavour your post-workout shakes or whey protein recipes, SportSeries’ Evolate 2.0 is the one for you, boasting more than 17 different flavours.
Try them out and let us know your favourite.
The last whey protein option is called hydrolysate, which is created when the milk is subjected to a hydrolysis process. This makes it different, at a molecular level, from the rest.
What does that mean? The hydrolysis to which hydrolysed whey protein is subjected is the same process that our stomach would subject a solid protein source to, so it can be considered a pre-digested whey protein.
What kinds of hydrolysed protein does HSN have?
The first option, which comes in different flavours, is Evohydro 2.0 by the SportSeries line, a hydrolysed whey isolate protein.
If you prefer a raw protein, Unflavoured Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate by the Raw Series line is the one for you, with up to 92% protein per serving.
Clear Whey for cyclists
Are the new clear wheys suitable for cyclists? Is whey protein for cyclists? Yes, definitely. Don’t forget that these are sports drinks, juice-style, with a high nutrient load for the body.
HSN ‘s latest novelty within the SportSeries line is Evoclear Hydro, which has a low sugar and fat content and is refreshing at any time of the day.
With the new HSN formula you get a light shake made with water, with a completely different texture from the milky body of whey proteins, more reminiscent of a light, refeshing juice and with a choice of fruity flavours.
A great way to try out the different flavours of Evoclear Hydro, our latest hydrolysed protein isolate, is in this complete pack of 5 x 500g bags. And you can combine the refreshing flavours to your liking!
Casein supplements and cycling
So, we’ve covered the important relationship between whey protein and muscle fibre recovery in cycling, but there’s also another protein supplement that can help support your recovery, and it has a slower absorption rate than whey protein.
It’s casein, a milk product that’s perfect for taking before long periods of fasting, such as at night, which will facilitate protein synthesis and prevent muscle catabolism.
Casein for cyclists.
Should you combine whey protein and casein intake? Definitely. A single whey protein or casein shake isn’t going to cover an athlete’s protein requirements.
You should distribute your protein supplements throughout the day, with the best time to take casein being at night, before going to bed, as that’s likely when you’ll be having your biggest fast.
Our first recommendation is Evopro by the SportSeries line, which has an innovative formula based on a mixture of sequential proteins (Whey and Milk Protein Isolate) and casein (35%), making it perfect for optimising an athlete’s nutritionThis protein is great for taking at any time of the day, but as it’s a sequential release protein it’s especially recommended for night use.
Evopro by SportSeries, the most complete protein with Casein
But take note! If you follow a vegan diet or have any allergies or dairy intolerance, there’s also an Evopro Vegan option, which contains pea, rice and hemp protein sources, alongside plant-based L-Leucine. Take a look at the most complete plant protein product here 🙂
Micellar casein: in different flavours: Evocasein 2.0 (Micellar Casein + Digezyme) by the SportSeries line.
You also have the RawSeries’ flavourless Micellar Casein format.
Plant Protein and cycling
As with all sports, many cyclists follow vegan diets or suffer from intolerances and allergies.
And of course, there are protein options for both vegans and those with intolerances.
If this is you, you can complete protein requirements with vegan proteins, it doesn’t from to come from an animal source. But bear in mind that these aren’t complete proteins, which means you have to alternate different sources to ensure you get all essential and non-essential amino acids.
Soy is one of the best plant protein sources and contains a high-quality source of protein. However, it’s also a common allergen food, so it’s not recommended for everyone, as is the case with whey.
At HSN, you’ll find Soy Protein Isolate 2.0
Alongside other plant-based sources:
Should you take protein during a training session?
It’s a good question, because protein is normally only associated with post-training intake for recovery work.
However, many of today’s formulas include protein, carbohydrates and electrolytes in their composition.
HSN’s unique SportSeries Evotonic formula, for example, is an intra-workout drink that includes Peptopro®, a casein hydrolysate protein, and works perfectly as an intra-training or competition drink.
Other protein supplements suitable for cycling
Protein isn’t everything, and if you’re wanting to give it your all on the bike you need to make sure you have a complete nutrition plan.Correct nutrition will help us replenish spent energy and provide the nutrients we need to help regenerate and synthesise muscle tissue damaged by physical activity.
As we mentioned in our article on the amount of protein athletes need, despite the fact that the World Health Organisation has established 0.8g per kg of body weight as the reference figure, everything depends onthe activity.
Cycling, fundamentally, is a resistance sport, so it’s essential the amounts consumed are adapted to this.
Make sure to meet your daily needs as an athlete.
Among the best sports supplements you can add to your diet are:
Evostamina, a stimulant-free formula with sodium bicarbonate and creatine.
Evorecovery, with carbohydrates, hydrolysed protein, vitamins and minerals.
If you have any questions about protein for cyclists, the products available, or even simply about nutrition, don’t hesitate to get in touch, our experts will be happy to help 🙂
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