If you ride regularly on an indoor trainer you’ll know that, whether using power or heart-rate, your numbers often don’t quite tally with how hard an effort feels or comparative rides out on the road. One of the main reasons for this is the heat, humidity and lack of a cooling headwind associated with indoor training.
A good indoor training set-up, with plenty of ventilation and fans, will definitely help but now, with the Turbo+ range from British Cycling’s and the Great Britain Cycling Team’s Sports Nutrition Supplier SiS, you can also cool yourself from the inside while maintaining optimal fueling and hydration.
We spoke to SiS about the Turbo+ range, how it works and how to use it:
Why have SiS developed a nutritional range specifically for indoor training?
Obviously with COVID there has been a massive spike in indoor cycling but, even prior to that, the rise in popularity of platforms such as Zwift, eRacing and the interaction afforded by smart trainers means that more riders are doing a greater proportion of their sessions inside. It’s not just about avoiding bad weather, riders now realise that, in terms of convenience, time efficiency, controllability and effectiveness, indoor workouts are hard to beat.
How does indoor cycling nutrition differ from outdoor cycling nutrition?
The biggest difference by far is the challenge of dealing with the increased heat, humidity and associated increased sweat rates. You’ve also got to factor in that indoor cycling typically lends itself to high intensity sessions. This combined with the reduced wind resistance poses a very different challenge to cycling out on the road.
What’s in the range?
Consistent across the Turbo+ range is the inclusion of active menthol which is typically found naturally in corn mint or peppermint plants. The unique thing about menthol is that it has been shown to stimulate certain receptors which trigger the “cold signal” in your brain. This gives a perception of cooling which means you actually feel cooler and therefore can ride harder.
We’ve got Turbo+ Powder which you mix with 500ml of water to create a menthol cooling carbohydrate drink that provide 62g of carbohydrate per serving. It’s pH neutral and isotonic so is easily absorbed and is easy on your stomach and also contains essential electrolytes that you lose in sweat.
Next are the Turbo+ Gels. Along with the cooling menthol and 22g of carbohydrate, these gels also contain 150mg of Caffeine, 1.5g of Beta-alanine and 1.5g of L-Carnitine. Both the gel and powder formats come in two flavours; Blueberry Freeze and Cool Citrus.
We’re also developing a zero carbohydrate version which will have the menthol cooling with added electrolytes. This version would be perfect for the lower duration or lower intensity sessions where fueling is less important.
Are they just for indoors?
Although the range is specifically designed for indoor training, menthol will certainly help with keeping you feel cooler in any circumstances when you’re riding in hot/humid conditions. With the Olympics in Tokyo we certainly see this menthol technology transferring to training and competing in the heat generally and not just indoor cycling.
Any other performance benefits?
Menthol has also been shown to improve airflow and nasal patency which again helps to improve thermal comfort. In the Turbo+ Gels, you have the proven performance boosters of Caffeine which can stimulate the central nervous system, as well as Beta-Alanine and L-Carnitine which act to buffer acidity in the muscles.
How would you use it for:
A 20-minute warm-up followed by a 20-40 minute Zwift Race
For this sort of relatively short but intense effort you’d be looking to prime yourself with a Turbo+ Gel 15-30 minutes before starting your warm-up.
During the race, depending on the length, you’d use either Turbo+ Powder for longer or harder efforts or the zero carbohydrate version for shorter efforts where you wouldn’t necessarily need to fuel for.
For both, every 5-10 minutes, we recommend to take 25-50ml, rinse around your mouth for 5-10 seconds and then swallow. The rinse and drink strategy serves two purposes - the first is that it maximises the cooling effect of the menthol and the second is that, with a carbohydrate drink, it stimulates glucose receptors in your mouth which have a stimulatory effect on your central nervous system and enhance exercise performance.
A 60-minute Zwift Workout/Group Ride including some prolonged Tempo/Sweet-Spot/Threshold efforts
You could again go for a Turbo+ Gel 15-30 minutes beforehand if you feel you needed a boost or it was an especially tough session.
For during this sort of session you’d be looking to fuel to hit maximal effort so Turbo+ Powder is perfect. Again, every 5-10 minutes, 25-50ml and adopting the rinse and drink strategy. You might also want to have a bottle of water to also sip on in-between just to ensure you stay well hydrated.
A 2-hour+ Zwift endurance ride
What you need for this type of ride will vary massively depending on intensity and your end goal. A solid starting point for optimal performance would be 500ml of Turbo+ Powder per hour, using the 25-50ml, every 5-10 minutes, rinse and drink strategy - this will give you 60g of carbohydrates per hour. Again, depending on your sweat rates and personal needs, you might also want to take on board some additional water.
British Cycling Members get a 30% discount across the entire SiS range including the Turbo+ Range.
British Cycling members can train and race on Zwift with fellow members, join group rides led by pros, coaches, as well as special guests, and participate in workouts that are designed exclusively for British Cycling members. Sign up today to get access and unlock your exclusive British Cycling member kit in game.
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