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Cyclists: Get More Calcium!

by Levi Bloom on April 14, 2005

Let's get straight to the point: Everyone needs more calcium in their diet, but cyclists really need it.

First thing, cycling isn't weight bearing (like running is) so you aren't building bone density when you ride. Second, you lose milligram after precious milligram of calcium when you sweat. You sweat, don't you?

I've been hearing this fact more often lately, so I'm trying to get extra calcium in my diet. Since it's been discussed in Bicycling magazine and on sites such as RoadBikeRider.com, you've probably heard about it.

Here's a tip that won't cost you anything - it might even save you money: Forget about soda. Don't even think about drinking any. It's full of phosphoric acid, which prevents calcium absorption. Stick with water.

What about milk? Well, there is calcium in milk, but it's not the calcium you want in your body. It will actually hinder the absorption of good calcium, like what's in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables. A high protein diet will also hinder calcium absorption.

(I'm one of those guys that will tell you to only drink milk from a hometown farm where you know it's not infested with antibiotics and human growth hormone.)

While you're getting some calcium, be sure to get some magnesium, too. (As recommended in Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery by Dr. Ed Burke.)

Whatever you do, try to get some extra calcium. And do a little weight lifting and/or running to work your bones.

 

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