Special Guest: Amber Pierce – Ask a Cycling Coach 193



Brene brown has so many books, which one are you referring g to specifically


Adding my kudos to this podcast episode and to @ambermalika. I enjoyed hearing a new perspective from a Amber and would encourage the boys to keep up the good work and bring more women into the mix.


Thank you so much for the kind words, the encouragement, and for taking the time to respond! I can’t tell you how important it is to me to have strong role models like you out there for my girls. Thank you again!

I’m glad to hear that things are getting better in the woman’s pro peloton, it seems from the outside like progress is being made (though slowly), so to hear from a pro that things are getting better is encouraging. I also love what you said about taking heart in the knowledge that when it gets tough for my girls I should remember that they are paving the way for others coming along behind them. That’s a fantastic sentiment that I’m going to be sure to pass along to them. Thank you again!


I really enjoyed the podcast. In fact I didn’t listen to it initially as I tend not to listen to those which cover racing but I read a few comments and so I listened and I am glad I did. I also persuaded a friend who hadn’t listened for the same reason and he enjoyed it as well.

I listen in the car and I did wonder what my wife would think if she was in the car for the section near the end where arousal was being discussed. She thought I was listening to training podcasts.


Yep…the discussion about @Nate arousal level amused me too!!!


I have never really taken recovery nutrition (other than eating a healthy meal of fruits and vegetables after a ride) all that seriously, largely because the price for recovery mixes always seemed a bit absurd to me, so thank you for this suggestion! I have a scientific background, so I recognize and fully accept the importance of recovery nutrition, I’m just too much of a cheap skate.

That being said, I just got the makings at my local grocery store for your suggested budget recovery mix. They did not have Tera’s whey, but they did have Bob’s Red Mill and Gatorade. I just did out the math for a single serving of recovery drink (based on your suggested ~200 cal), so I thought I would share it based on these ingredients just to save someone else the time.

I am basing this on the scoop that came with the Gatorade (5 tsp capacity according to the back of the container), I ride during lunch at work so all I have to make measurements at my desk is that scoop.

2 scoops lemon-lime Gatorade hydration powder = 44g CHO (as Amber already said)
1.75 scoops Bob’s Red Mill Whey = 11g protein

For those with a food scale that comes out to:

46g of Gatorade powder
15g of Bob’s Red Mill whey

This gets you a total caloric count of 240 calories between the two mixes.

I had hoped to come up with a mix that kept my intake down to 200 calories (I am always leery about taking in calories via hydration), but as I said I am limited in my measuring capabilities, so I am going to call 240 close enough. I might need to get a food scale for my desk…


Great podcast. Amber provided a great perspective with some deep insights. She needs to do an Ironman :slight_smile:


Amazing podcast


Good point! I have read two of her books, both of which I recommend: Daring Greatly, and Gifts of Imperfection. I’d suggest starting with Daring Greatly. That said, the themes throughout are similar, so I think any of her books would provide important insights along the lines we discussed in the episode. Thanks for asking!


Amber, I’m sure you’re getting plenty of messages but figured I had to share. The workout I failed last Thursday was 5x8@102%. Have always struggled with those. Told you that I think I was under fueled, and over the weekend I upped the calories to your suggestion and recovery shake right after. Well its been going really well since doing this, and last night I did the 5x8@102% to see if I could do it, even with a touch of heavier legs, as Bill Murray said in the first Ghostbusters “I came, I saw, I kicked its ass!”

I think this nutrition advice, while simple has made the biggest improvement for me. Thanks a lot and great to hear you on the podcast again!


Thank you


I had the same experience the day after I listened to the podcast - a solid breakfast and the mantra. I wrecked about six months ago and have had a terrible time sticking on a wheel, but the mantra truly kept my chin up and my thoughts singular. It was an incredible ride. Thank you, @ambermalika! I think you’ve brought me out of a long slump.


Very cool stuff. So a carb isn’t just a carb in this case? I have been using recovery cereal (frosted flakes in chocolate whey milk shake). I should try experimenting with gatorade + whey… just not the chocolate kind. haha


Amber should be a regular! If not every week, at least once a month. A knowledgeable, female rider is a fantabulous addition!


I LOVE THIS! So great to hear. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience!


I can’t tell you how meaningful it is for me to read this. I can relate, having come back from crashes and injuries myself, and I know what a big deal it is to finally feel like you’re on the other side of it. That I had some small part in your escape from the slump is quite an honor. Thank you!


+1!! @Nate hire this girl please!


I know a lot of athletes who do well with chocolate milk as a recovery drink. I personally find it a little heavy, especially after a really hard ride. I want to emphasize a comment I’ve made elsewhere, which is that there are few absolutes when it comes to physiology. Breaking things like recovery down to basics, then experimenting to see what works for you is, in my opinion, the way to go. In this case, the primary goal of a recovery drink is to replenish glycogen. In that golden window (within 30 minutes after working out), our systems are primed to convert and store incoming CHO as glycogen, which is why it is critical to get CHO into your system during that time. From there, you can get more nuanced with what type of CHO you take in (e.g. simple CHO is going go absorb more easily, but a combination of different CHO types might maximize uptake by taking advantage of different types of receptors), and whether you add protein (and if so what kind). Adding protein in that 4:1 CHO:PRO ratio helps initiate a signaling cascade that kick-starts your recovery process. It helps for sure, but I think the real crux is getting CHO into your system after your workout, and cereal works just fine for that. Plus, you’re getting protein with the chocolate whey milk shake. If you want to get more nuanced with it by getting more precise with the ratio or changing CHO or PRO types, go for it. You don’t need to overthink it. The most important thing is that your recovery drink is something that is easy enough and enjoyable enough that you can be very consistent about having it after every training session. If you find that a different recipe is hard to get down the hatch, it might not be worth the change. Just have fun experimenting and figuring out what works best for you!


Thanks for this. I’m going to try that. I just checked the nutrition stuff and it seems like the Tera’s whey plain on amazon would be 1 scoop (instead of 1/2) for 11g of protein at 55 calories. Anyway, I’m looking forward to my overprized recovery mix running out now. :slight_smile:


Hi @ambermalika, awesome and informative…please keep it up!

I’ve read (and listened) to this subject with great interest…however, my question is this…

How would this kind of nutrition guide work for someone looking to shift a few pounds of ‘off season lard’?