Food….What does a Pro Rider eat on a general race day?
A typical race day's food intake
I’ve had the question put to me about nutrition. What do we eat and drink throughout a day of racing on tour? So I thought I would run you through a general day on your for me.
My day, like most other people, starts with breakfast. The difference being for us though, is that ours is timed specifically depending on the start time of the race. For pro cyclist, we generally eat breakfast 3hrs before the race kicks off. Now I can’t speak on behalf of everyone else, but my breakfast usually looks a bit like this:
-First things first, COFFEE!
-Big bowl of oats or muslie with a banana and honey.
-If we have a chef on tour, an omlette or some form of eggs with some multigrain bread.
-Again, if we have a chef, usually a smoothie to finish things off.
Once we arrive at the start of the race in the bus, which is usually 1hr before, I usually have a couple of small snacks like a protein bar or a small ham and cheese bun just to keep my body running before the start.
Now when it comes to race food and what we carry in our pockets, this always changes and greatly depends on the length of the race. Remembering that we nearly always have a feed zone and a car following with food available, it’s not necessary to take a huge amount of food. However, I personally always take enough food in my pockets to get me to the finish regardless, that way I’m not relying on getting a feed bag (which is’t always possible or as easy as it sounds) and if the race is really hard it’s also not always possible to just drop back to the car and collect some food.
As for food I take in my pockets, I’ll give you an example based on yesterday’s 190km stage here in California which took around 5hrs.
-1 protein bar.
-1 grained bar for longer lasting energy.
-1 energy bar.
-3 gels, 2 of which had caffeine for the final 1.5hrs-2hrs.
-I also have a tendency to cramp, so I also take a salt tablet or 2 depending on the temperature.
Post race recovery starts with a protein shake with added amino acids and magnesium. From there I have my shower and get changed and then have some solid food. This always changes depending on what’s available, but generally I’ll have a some rice and eggs mixed together or a sandwich or some fruit salad.
As a general rule they say your body can only absorb 80g of carbohydrates each hour, anything extra turns to fat. So from the finish of the race until dinner I try and eat smaller portions (with no greater than 80g of carbs) every hour until dinner time.
Dinner. Now again this changes from night to night, but as a generally I will have a plate of pasta or rice, along with some meat or fish, maybe some veggies or salad and then depending on how full or how good my will power is I’ll have some fruit for desert….or maybe a small piece of cake if it happens to jump on my plate.
Hope you all enjoyed to inside scoop on what we eat on tour.
Sent from my iPhone
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