Recovery Drinks, Overtraining, Beginner Racing and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 288

Pete is back!

We discussed who won in a pre-season 10mi TT between Pete and I, our favorite ride “nutrition”, whether recovery drinks are necessary if you are already topped off on carbohydrate, how to recover from overtraining, why stage races may be the best races to start with for beginners and much more in this episode of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast.

YouTube Video:

Topics Covered in This Episode

  • Intro and Updates 0:00 - 24:29
  • Are stage races bad for beginners? 24:29 - 39:41
  • When to increase training volume 39:41 - 51:54
  • Do you need a recovery drink if you are “topped off” on carbs? 51:54 - 1:44:50
  • Pete’s thoughts on the Speeco Aero Breakaway handlebar 1:44:50 - 1:49:44
  • Tan wall tires: yay or nay? 1:49:44 - 1:51:01
  • Go-to nutrition products for the coaches 1:51:01 - 1:56:32
  • How to recover from overtraining 1:56:32 - 2:09:14

Studies and Resources Referenced in This Episode

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Just wanted to give a big, big thanks to you all for answering my newbie racing question. Your discussion gave me the final push to commit to the race I’ve been mulling over. I’ll be trying my luck at the 2021 Tour De Bloom!


listening now…“adult onset cyclist” why does that sound like some sort of syndrome/sickness? lol

Edit: What’s the thread about VO2 and Z2, etc. that Nate referenced? I’m not sure what he’s referring too (I’m guilty of not reading all the threads in the forum).

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Nate was referencing a statement he made in the last episode (287) of the podcast around 1:17:00 to 1:19:00.

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Does taking a recovery drink change if you do have type 2 diabetes? Or even going after roughly 60g of carbs during a ride? @ambermalika

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The forum discussion is here:


I’m glad Nate is getting older and going to try a 2 on/1 off and said he’s pretty fried by the 3rd week. Maybe we’ll see this with TR plans and something geared more for older people now.


Yes, this has been on the list for a long time. We’re putting some other structural improvements to make this possible from a coding perspective.


Thank you! I look forward to it, hopefully something more dynamic as well and fully customizable. (I have suggestions on another thread somewhere in this forum).

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Honest answer is that I don’t know. There is such a huge range of physiology within the diagnosis of T2D it likely depends on degree of insulin sensitivity of the individual, and what interventions the individual is already applying for treatment. Probably a good way to know for sure would be to work with your doctor to determine a safe way to self-experiment, for example by trying different amounts of CHO intake during/after workouts and testing blood glucose levels to see the effects and to ensure you’re within your desired ranges. Consistent exercise has been shown over and over to increase insulin sensitivity, so I would imagine that fueling the efforts well would be beneficial, so long as the CHO intake for fueling didn’t work at cross purposes with your treatment goals for T2D. BUT I am not a doctor! It might help to consult with a doctor who is familiar with cycling as well as T2D, so they could guide you with adequate perspective on the training component of your question.


Awesome to hear! I have a feeling you’ll love it!

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Can I get

Let’s eat carbs and get fast.

on a t-shirt or something please.


One of my favorite episodes as of late. I knew I always felt 1000% better if I used a Skratch recovery shake vs just regular old whey but really didn’t know why. I chalked it up to better quality protein but in reality it’s the 34 extra grams of carbs.

One aspect that I think would be helpful would to bridge the gap between fueling the ride and fueling the recovery and with weight loss. Until we can get a simple TL;DR, reader’s digest version, folks are going to focus on cutting calories (even at the expense of recovery). Carb up for the workout, carb/protein mix for the recovery signaling, and eat quality foods at a calorie deficit doesn’t have the same ring to it as, go keto.


The shortest answer is probably:

  • Eat whole foods (limit junk)
  • Only eat simple carbs during or immediately after your workout.
  • Cut calories as far from your workouts as possible. (If you workout after work/school then maybe have a light breakfast then carb up during lunch to prep and dinner for recovery)
  • Eat all your veggies
  • A smaller deficit is more sustainable than a large one

The notion that athletes cannot get Type 2 diabetes is wrong. It does happen.

It is possible to be an athlete with metabolic syndrome.

Cutting carbs is the fastest way to close to racing weight if you have significant weight to lose.

Carbs do make you fat. But carbs also make you fast.


What podcast did Nate mention regarding nutrition in this podcast?

Around 56:20? It’s the Stronger By Science podcast. Another one to add to the list!

Great content in #288 from the team :slight_smile:

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Great podcast as usual. Made me want to order (or mix) some recovery drinks. A lot of the premade stuff I stumbled upon seems to have a protein/carb ratio closer to 1:1 or something like that. Anyone knows why? Should I be looking for more carbs/adding them myself or is the ratio not that relevant?

Recovery drinks for swimming too? Calorie burn and impact just seems so little vs 1 hr bike intervals.