DIET OF A CYCLIST
Road bicycle racing is the cycling sport which is held on paved roads. This makes its name as the most popular professional cycling sport. The credit of which goes to the competitors, organisers and spectators. The most common formats of this competition include mass start events, in which riders begin continuously (though sometimes with a handicap) and race to set finish point; and time trials, in this, either individual riders or teams compete individually against the clock. Stage races or “tours” take more than one days, and comprises of many mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively.
Professional racing has gained its popularity in Western Europe, centre revolving mainly around France, Spain, Italy and the Low Countries. Since the mid-1980s the professional races are held on all the parts of the globe. In some of the countries, semi-professional and amateur are also held.. professional cycling is looked upon by the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI). As well as the UCI’s annual World Championships for men and women, Tour de France is the biggest event. This is a three week race that has the capability to attract 50,000 roadside supporters daily.
British cyclist Mark Cavendish got a boom in his cyclist career at the age of 22 and won the prestigious European race named the Grote Scheldeprijs. The former track cyclist, known for explosive sprints, was quickly picked up by the British National team and started competing for the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour de France in 2007.
Have your own way
“A lot of riders like eating oatmeal for breakfast, but that’s not something that works for me. But rice does, so I’ll have an omelet and rice for breakfast in the morning—it’s such a simple carb to digest, and it has a lot of fluid. I also don’t drink much dairy—a lot of riders say drinking milk before riding increases phlegm in their chest. Instead, I’ll take an alternative, like almond milk or sometimes soy milk.”
Use snack to get recovered
“Never go completely synthetic—your body needs real food. Instead of concocting recovery shakes all the time, choose a snack that’s packed with good stuff. I’ve always loved pistachios, which have a lot of protein—more than 12 grams in a typical 50g serving—and tons of vitamins and minerals, like potassium, so I eat them between race stages. I even had my nutritionist create an energy bar with them. Now practically the whole cycling world eats it.”
Eat just enough
“One mistake athletes make when they’re training is eating too much. They think carbo-loading is the way to go, but you don’t need to overeat to do that. For instance, they say Tour de France riders burn 8,000 calories a day. I don’t think that’s right. If a normal person did a Tour stage, they might burn 8,000, but our bodies become so efficient, I think we burn about half that. It’s worth fine-tuning your diet to account for that.”
Cut trans fats
“The one thing I stay completely away from are trans fats, or hydrogenated fats—and now, with the new federal ban Opens a New Window. that phases out trans fats over the next three years, that should be even easier. The body can’t take them—it can’t break them down. Fat’s important to the body for recovery, but some fats increase stress and some decrease it. Good fats are what you want.”
Relax when needed
“I believe athletes who say they’re absolutely, biblically strict about their diet are either lying or sick in the head—you’ve got to have some fun. You’re not really living if you’re weighing every bit of rice on your plate. Especially when I’m not competing, I’ll relax with the odd bar of chocolate or glass of wine. I also like a dessert now and then, though I tend to go for a plate of fruit.”
Nutrition plays an important role in your cycling performance. It influences your energy and hence your speed and performance. Food is so important, that some of the pro cyclists even employ their own nutritionists and chefs. They make sure that the cyclists get proper nutrition before every ride. These are some tips that can make your diet perfect.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. At night, the body uses most of the fuel to supply glucose to your brain and repair muscles. So, breakfast fulfils the requirements of your body and give a good kickstart to your day.
Try to include slow release carbs, with fruits and necessarily a protein source.
Some quick breakfasts include:
- Porridge made with milk or soya, with bananas
- Banana, nut butter, milk and oats smoothie.
- Whole grain toast with scrambled egg
You will need extra carbs in your diet if you are cycling more than an hour. You can include them with sports drinks, bars and gels. You can also have bananas and dried fruits to make up to your carbohydrates requirements.
60g of carbs for every one hour of exercise is sufficient. Keep in mind the carbohydrate requirement. Taking more than required, can make you feel sick.
- 1 banana, 1 cereal bar, 500ml of energy drink
- 6 jelly babies, 2 fig rolls
- 6 dried dates, 500ml energy drink
After riding, you need to restore the used energy. The requirement is of 20-40g of proteins and around 60-80g of carbohydrates. Try to include lots of vegetables to your recovery meal. It increases your carbohydrates intake. Also, completes your protein and fibre requirements.
Some of the recovery meals that you can try are:
- Smoothie, including fresh berries, chia seeds, banana, yoghurt and peanut butter.
- Chicken breast
- Rice, vegetables
- Baked potatoes with salad.
Keeping body hydrated is the most basic need for cycling. Whether riding or not, you should always be consuming fluids to keep your body hydrated.
Fluid requirement may vary from day to day and weather to weather. On a sunny day, you may be sweating more and hence would need more fluid than normal.
Also, fluid keeps your body temperature in control.
- EAT MANY TIMES
Take food many times in a day, but make sure that it is in small amounts. You need to maintain a desired energy level while cycling. You can include dried fruits, low fat snacks and energy bars in your diet.
- CUT HIGH CALORIE FOOD
We know that many females like to eat snacks that are full of calories and contain less nutrients. You should try to eat food with more water and fibre. High calorie food is also important for your health, but in moderation
- BREAKFAST IS NECESSARY
Breakfast is an important meal to start a day. Most of the women are found to skip it, which is very unhealthy. When cycling, you can eat sports bar, or sandwich, to add to your energy.
Taking an enhanced caffeine by women enhances performance. However you should avoid caffeine in case of high blood pressure and in a heart condition.
- RECOVERY FOOD
Taking recovery food is most important for female cyclists. Carbohydrates and protein rich food are proven to recover muscles and reduces your chances of getting injured.
A GENERALIZED VIEW:
Nutrition is the key to success for a professional cyclist, and for those who are passionate about increasing their speed, performance and their biking abilities. Nutrition plays an important role in the quality of performance, so you need to assure that you are taking the proper nutrition which could add up to your hard work and improve your performance. By considering the diet of professional cyclists, you too can boost your endurance, strength and stamina to improve your game, even if you’re not perfect for the Tour de France just yet.
Consider carbs as your friends
Carbohydrates play a very important role in the diet any professional or aspiring cyclist. one needs approximately 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body-weight each day, registered dietitian Molly Kimball told “Bicycling” magazine. Mainly carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice and potatoes for meals, but consuming foods such as energy bars during races for instant energy.
Consume high calories
If you are cycling at high frequencies, you not only need high carbohydrates but also high calories. During some days of the 2008 Tour de France, their calorie intake per team member was as high as 9,000 per day. You do not need to consume this much calories daily because you can otherwise gain weight, which can decrease your speed – its important to notice that at the days of high training you need to consume more calories than usual. A day in the tour is as long as five to six hours. So, you should consider taking 5000-6000 cal every four to five hours of training day.
Track Versus Road
As we know that the track cyclists need less calories than the road cyclists, because the length of races of track cyclists are less than the road cyclists — but that doesn’t mean they eat light. Cyclist Chris Hoy consumes 6,000 calories per day according to “Track Cycling News.” The American Dietetic Association notes that “the nutrition needs of a track cyclist are more akin to those of strength and power athletes than endurance competitors. The number of calories track cyclists burn per hour can rise as high as 7.3 per pound, but they don’t ride for nearly as long as road cyclists and, therefore, need a slightly lower caloric intake.”
A Day in the Saddle and at the Table
During competition, the eating feats of pro cyclists are almost as impressive as their performance up the mountains. Thor Hushovd, winner of the green jersey for sprint points in the 2005 and 2009 Tour de France, regularly ate 9,000 calories per day during his races. Breakfast would be oats, a ham omelet, toast, cereal and rice. While riding, he would eat energy bars, shots and gels, rice cakes, sandwiches and carb drinks. Post-race, it was chicken and rice, before a big dinner of turkey, more rice, vegetables, salad and avocado, with prunes and sorbet for dessert. A Lot of Calories
A racer burns 3,500 to 4,000 calories on an average day in the Tour de France and 5,000 to 5,500 on a big day.
Breakfast Is Big
Racers eat a big breakfast so they start off with a full load of fuel and they eat several hours before the race to allow time for the meal to digest. My friend Barb Grealish is the chef for Garmin for domestic stage races. She prepares the biggest vat possible of oatmeal with blueberries and an egg station to fix eggs to order. Riders eat 1-2 bowls of oatmeal and 2-4 eggs. Some riders eat corn-based cereal, which is gluten-free.
Racers Drink a Lot
Depending on conditions, racers down 1-3 16 fluid-ounce(0.5 L) bottles every hour. Depending on preferences and stomach issues, a racer drinks water, sports drink and Coke. Most teams use a commercial sports drink. A few outsource custom drink mixes and have them tested for purity to be sure they won’t present problems with drug testing.
a lot of variety is the key to getting through three weeks of racing without bonking.
At race paces, the racers are burning almost exclusively glycogen (from carbohydrates) for energy.