Cycling like a pro could result in an eating disorder. Eating disorders can be prevalent in endurance sports such as cycling, running, and rock climbing. Actually, any athlete could fall victim to trying to become the best through obsession over weight. You want to be the best and the best appear to be in amazing shape. However, that can sometimes be just an appearance. Some top athletes are not really in amazing shape. The effects of their eating disorder have not caught up with them yet.
Cycling Like a Pro Could Result in an Eating Disorder
Dropping pounds through exercise can make you become faster at your sport, if your overweight. On the other hand, there is a fine line between dropping pounds and being severely underweight and/or malnourished due to poor eating habits. When you severely restrict your diet, your body can eventually show signs of the damage that you are doing. In later years, you can develop osteoporosis. However, the more immediate threat is to your organs. Without proper nutrition, in severe cases, your body may begin to shut down and lead to death.
Depression and Anxiety
Many eating disorders have a root in depression and anxiety. They can also develop from low self-esteem. The person with an eating disorder can become obsessed with the food that goes into their mouth, what comes out of their body, and how many calories are burned through exercise. The higher the last two numbers are in comparison to the first number will be their daily focus. If you are this obsessed with your consumption of foods, then you need to consider whether you are suffering from an eating disorder.
There are several different types of eating disorders. The main types of eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia is the severe restriction of calorie intake. The person who is suffering from anorexia is physically exercising an excessive amount and taking in very few calories. The person who is suffering from anorexia may also be suffering from nutritional deviancies through not eating the full gamut of foods. For example, a person who is going to suffer from nutritional deficiencies is only eating a couple of celery sticks for breakfast, a handful of granola for lunch, and a salad for supper. While none of these foods are bad for a person, the lack of nutritional value is what is wrong. This is especially damaging if the person is participating in an endurance sport such as cycling. There is not enough protein and calories being consumed to maintain an adequate speed while cycling.
Bulimia is the consumption of calories in a short period of time and then the purging of the food. However, there is another form of bulimia that might be more prevalent in cycling. If a person consumes many calories in a period of splurging, but then takes in no calories for a couple of days and participates in an excessive exercise to rid the body of the calories, this is no different than purging through vomiting. The person will still suffer the consequences of not getting consistent nutritional value.
Men and Women
An eating disorder in sports is not restricted to women. Men are also suffering from eating disorders in their quest to be the best. However, they might not realize it due to the focus being on the female athletes.
If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, seek assistance from a doctor or other professional to address your eating disorder. The long-term consequences of an eating disorder can damage your organs and eventually lead to early or unexpected death. As a cyclist, you need adequate amounts of proteins, fats, fibers, and carbohydrates to perform at your peak level. Don’t fall into the trap that excessive weight loss will give you a competitive advantage.