Endurance Nutrition – How Riders Eat on Grand Tour of Cycling August 24 2016, 0 Comments

Endurance nutrition is a science; learn what it takes to perform at the highest levels of the cycling world. Photo Source: npr.org

Fuel 100 is all about giving you what you need to succeed in whatever endurance race or training you choose.  Because of our passion for all things endurance, we thought it would be fun to see what a day in the nutritional life of some of the most extreme endurance athletes might look like.  We will use the Tour de France as the endurance nutrition laboratory for a closer look inside the life of a world-class cyclist.

Each day of the Tour the finely tuned athletes have to be eating machines, taking in around 8,000 calories.  The 2,200 mile race has been compared to running a marathon every day for three week. From the moment they wake to the time they pass out, refueling is a constant concern.

So let’s take a look inside the endurance nutrition of a Tour cyclist.  The morning starts with a glass of juice to give our rider a quick boost of energy and continue the rehydration process from the day before.  Breakfast is 1,000 – 1,500 calories of balanced carbohydrates and protein.  Our racer loads up on things like rice, oatmeal, whole grain cereal, eggs, yogurt, and breads.  Along with the meal come plenty of fluids to continue hydration.  The time between breakfast and the start of the stage can be several hours, so our racer will continue to snack and hydrate.

Once the race starts, a cyclist can burn through around 1,000 calories an hour.  However, the body will only absorb around 300 calories an hour, leaving our cyclist in a calorie deficit.  More substantial solids like fruits and rice cakes can help riders keep a constant supply of energy through the early section of the race and reduce the effects of the calorie deficit.  Electrolyte and energy replacement supplements are consumed later in the stage when the pace picks up and the rider’s stores of glycogen are running low.  The key for our rider here is to have a convenient nutrient source that can be consumed on the go while in the middle of a pack of riders.

Endurance nutrition is about getting the right kind of calories and electrolytes in a form that is easy to consume on the move. Bite-sized Electro-Bites melt in your mouth giving you all-natural energy with no hassle.

Electro-Bites are specially crafted to give the proper ratios of fuel from fat, simple and complex carbohydrates, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals in order to best achieve the needed nutritional requirements in endurance cycling. Electro-Bites supply what is craved most during sustained activity: a salty (not too sweet) bite that delivers the right amount of potassium, sodium, and magnesium in a perfect balance with caloric requirements.  Electro-Bites ingredients are rapidly absorbed during activity reducing the risk of stomach-related issues while supplying a steady reliable energy to our rider.

After the race our rider needs to immediately start eating to recover and prepare for the next day.  The first 20-minutes after exercise are critical to replace lost nutrients.  Our rider will down a protein shake along with carbs to replace lost glycogen.  At dinner our cyclist will eat a tummy busting 2,500 calories of balanced proteins, carbs, and fats.  Fiber from fruits and vegetables are also consumed to round out the balanced diet that will be needed to perform the next day.

Before heading off to bed and dreaming of the coveted yellow jersey, our rider guzzles another protein shake to help his body repair worn out muscles and consumes some additional nutrient rich calories like yogurt or whole grain cereal.  With his stomach full and his body in recovery, our cyclist falls asleep and gets ready for another grueling day on the Tour.