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Zwift tips: Train more effectively on the roller with the optimal food!

Food on the Smarttrainer is often underestimated: tips and tricks to make your Zwift workout a success.

It’s getting cold and uncomfortable and the days are getting shorter. For several years now, cyclists and triathletes have been drawn to the virtual streets of Watopia and the like at this time of year.

Often a Zwift workout is shorter and more intense than the long leisurely rides at a balmy 25 degrees in July. However, this does not mean that catering should be disregarded here:

Even on the Smarttrainer, the supply of carbohydrates is crucial for the success of the unit.

The right preparation for your Zwift workout

Since sessions on Zwift are especially interesting for those people who want to fit their training into their workday (and these people often have a stressful daily routine), it is important to pay attention to the supply of carbohydrates already in the preparation.

In many cases, by the time they get on their smarttrainer, it has been a long time since their last meal. Thus, the carbohydrate stores are often already scratched.

If an intensive session is then scheduled, it can be severely compromised by inadequate catering.

In preparation for more intense Zwift workouts or races, we therefore recommend supplying yourself with a well-tolerated bar such as our PORRIDGE BAR .

Also a carbohydrate drink like our SLOW CARB is a good choice for 1-2 hours before exercise in order to fill the stores sufficiently.

The loose unit on the roller

For many people, sporting activity in the evening is a good balance to a stressful day at work.

The casual 1-1.5 hours of basic training in the evening are a good opportunity to burn a few calories and clear your head.

While these sessions don’t necessarily have to be carbohydrate-fueled, you should always view the workout in the overall context of the next few days of training.

For example, it is important to pay attention to the intake of carbohydrates even during a relaxed training session, if a more intense workout is scheduled again the next day.

Also for people whose goal is to reduce weight, it is advantageous to supply the loose units in the same way, as they can thus supply the carbohydrates during physical activity.

For the relaxed LIT (Low Intensity Training) Zwift units we recommend a supply of slow carbohydrates, which e.g. our carbohydrate drink SLOW CARB HEAT (30-35g with 500ml water) offers.

The advantage with this special drink is that it specifically triggers fat metabolism, which is known to be important for endurance performance. Increased salt content also compensates for (often increased) sweating during indoor training.

Catering for intensive units and Zwift races

As already described in the preparation section, in the first step it is crucial to prepare HIT (High Intensity Training) sessions well.

During the unit, it is then a matter of maintaining the supply, since especially intensive units involve a very high carbohydrate consumption.

For example, an athlete with a VO2max of 70 ml/kg/min and a VLamax of 0.45 at 69.5 kg body weight consumes a full 200-260 g of carbohydrate per hour when riding in the threshold range.

In order to maintain the performance, it is crucial to ensure the supply also during the unit – and this especially with carbohydrates that are quickly available.

For intensive Zwift workouts or races, we therefore recommend supplying you with our carbohydrate drink FAST CARB (40g with 500ml water), which gives you fast energy.

For longer units / races also offers POWER CARB which can be dosed higher due to its top compatibility. 60-80g/KH per hour are no problem here and quite recommendable, so as not to collapse at the end.

In addition to carbohydrate drinks, our GEL 40 is also excellent for quickly absorbing a large amount of carbohydrates.

Per gel athletes:inside can take 40g carbohydrates – and with the gel 40 Matcha even additional 100mg caffeine (for the extra kick 😉 ). 

After the Zwift workout: Regenerate faster

Because Zwift workouts are characterized by their constant pedaling phases, they are often particularly intense for the body. Many athletes feel much more exhausted after a one-hour session on Zwift than after a session of the same length on the road.

In order to give the body and especially the muscles the opportunity to regenerate optimally, the follow-up of the training session is also elementary.

Here it is crucial to use the “Open Window” in the first 30 minutes after the training, because here the absorption capacity of the body is significantly increased.

In order to support the recovery and adaptation of the body as quickly as possible, we strongly recommend the intake of carbohydrates AND proteins.

This can be done, for example, very easily with our super tasty RECOVERY SHAKE as it provides the optimal mix of carbohydrates and vegetable proteins.

After particularly hard Zwift units, for example Zwift races, alternatively the RECOVERY 8 can be used to provide the body with additional essential amino acids for faster muscle recovery.

5 tips for optimal nutrition during your Zwift workout

  • (Almost) every Zwift unit should be supplied with carbohydrates
  • Loose units with SLOW CARB HEAT or SLOW CARB supply
  • Hard Zwift workouts and races with FAST CARB provide
  • Follow up with RECOVERY SHAKES is crucial
  • Drink enough fluids to compensate for high fluid loss

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