Category Archives: Nutrition

Top 5 Super Foods for Endurance Athletes

Athletes, in particular endurance athletes, understand that eating healthy is important for optimal performance and fast recovery. Making the right decision at the table can have a big impact on just how long and strong you can go in a workout. “Super foods” is a term used to identify foods with added health benefits. Here are the top five super foods that every endurance athletes should consider adding to their daily diet.

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate high in soluble fiber. Many don’t know but oatmeal is also an excellent source of protein. But there is a lot more to Oatmeal. Oatmeal is recommended for athletes for many reasons. First of all, it is a good source of Magnesium. Magnesium is mineral that helps to relieve from sore muscles, stimulate muscle repair and regrowth. Oatmeal is also rich in Vitamin B. Vitamins B are necessary for a healthy metabolism, energy and muscle function. And last but not least, Oatmeal is an iron rich food. And athletes need iron to maintain energy.

2. Kale

Kale is powerhouse vegetable that contains many beneficial properties for athletes. Kale is an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamins K, A, and C. One cup of kale offers only 35 calories, 5 grams of fiber and no fat. Its phytonutrients have been linked to prevent cancer.

3. Milk

Milk still reigns in at number one as an ideal post exercise and muscle recovery beverage for endurance athletes. Milk is a rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Milk is rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, thus providing almost immediate energy during and replenishes quickly post exercise.

Another beneficial property is that when carbohydrates and proteins are consumed together, muscle tissues tend to be repaired at a much faster rate than if consumed alone.

4. Bananas

Bananas have been a long time favorite among athletes. They are one of the best pre- and post- workout snacks.  Bananas are best known for being an excellent source of potassium. Potassium plays a key role in muscle recovery and soreness. It also helps regulate body water and promotes healthy bones. But there is more. Bananas are also rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have rapidly become the most popular of the super foods among athletes.  Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron and protein.  They also contain a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have been identified as the food that helps to provide sustained energy, to fight deshydratation, to accelerate recovery and to increase weight loss.

What makes chia seeds so popular among athletes is that it a nutrient dense food.  For example, in just two tablespoons, chia seeds offer 10 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than blueberries and more omega-3 than salmon.

Gluten… An enemy?

Have you tried to eat gluten free food? Maybe it can be good to feel how your body system works without it.

Your body needs carbs, your body does not need gluten

Gluten are the protein fraction of wheat, oats, rye and barley.The gluten are king of “intestinal mucosa aggressor”. The explanation accepted for this effect is that the molecules derived from the digestion of wheat are too large and can cause a flattening permeability.

Also, the gluten  can be responsible for a reduction of the production of digestive enzymes with local effects like a reduction of the nutrients absorption, an increase of the absorption of food allergens, abdominal cramps, gases, bloating, diarrhea alternated with constipation.

Most wheat has absolutely no nutritional value because of the processing factor, wheat is usually fortified because of it’s lack of nutritional value. What I like best about being gluten free is that cutting out gluten has also meant nearly all of the processed food diet has been eliminated (pasta/bread).

Plus, we are also ingesting far less sugar and sodium which has made a great difference in the area of weight and general feeling of health.

The skin gets better, no acne, no gas in the intestine.

Peptides which affect blood circulation as products of the gluten digestion can provoke systemic affects such weight gain, inflammation, headaches, joint and muscle pains, bloating, mood swings, lack of concentration, insulin resistance, increased abdominal fat and food cravings.

Let’s try?

We can try to take out the pasta, bread, rye, oats, biscuits, soy sauce and barley for example…

Then, you can have rice (100% natural cereal), potatoes, corn crackers, sweet potatoes, corn, hominy, rice crackers, quinoa…

I hope you feel “lighter” and eat “cleaner”! 

Do you fear for your joints?

This is the marathons and races season, and you might hesitate to participate to these adventures because you are worried for your joints…

Indeed, lots of people think that osteoarthritis comes from wear of the cartilage in the joints. Constantly rubbing against each other, cartilage bones eventually erode, get thinner and thinner, like car brakes that you forget to change.

Therefore, some think that to prevent osteoarthritis, the best thing is to avoid joints overuse such as intense sport, running, races, in order to avoid the thinning of the cartilages.

But this is absolutely not the way it works! Remember that your body is a living being, unlike a car.

Cartilage, like all other living tissues, is able to adapt and  is strengthened when put to work

If one day, your cartilage stops regenerating, disappears or breaks, it will be because you have a problem. By you I mean, your body.

To be more exact, it suggests that your body doesn’t get enough food to regenerate, and by food I mean, quality nutriments.

It can also suggest that your body is too acidic and might be exposed to inflammation and degeneration.

You can easily fix that with diet and essential oils

But what you have to know is that a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that people who practice regular running have less than half the chances to develop osteoarthritis, than others.

The explanation could be as follows:

Cartilage is not irrigated by blood vessels. However, it is composed of living cells, which need to be fed. The food is in the synovial fluid that bathes the joint. Each press of the cartilage allows the flow of synovial fluid in the cartilage cells and the feeding of nutrients.

If you hardly move, your cartilage simply starves.

But this doesn’t need to be this way!

If you have sensitive joints, walking can be sufficient to start with, and, as I wrote above, diet and aromatherapy can help to put you on track.

Make sure you favor alkalinizing foods (helping you fight acidity and necrosis). Most vegetables and fresh food promotes alkalinity.

Therefore, the best remains to avoid what promotes acidity, basically, meat and dairy products.

Nevertheless, you have to know that very healthy foods also promote acidity and must be balanced with neutral or alkalinity forming foods.

Here are very common acidity forming foods :

  • Whole milk.
  • Butter.
  • Lentils, boiled.
  • White bread.
  • Whole-wheat cooked spaghetti.
  • Plain bagel.
  • Peanuts, dry-roasted.
  • Walnuts.
  • Hotdog.
  • Chicken.
  • Lean beef.
  • Wild cooked trout.
  • Whole egg, hard-boiled egg.
  • Oats.
  • Brown rice.
  • Cooked salmon.
  • White canned tuna fish.
  • Mozzarella.
  • Canned sardines.
  • Cooked turkey bacon.
  • American/cheddar cheese.
  • Parmesan cheese (most acid-producing).

It is best to balance this list with alkaline promoting foods such as :

  • Draft beer (most neutral).
  • Honey.
  • Asparagus.
  • Margarine.
  • White wine.
  • Broccoli.
  • Marmalade.
  • Mineral water.
  • Watermelon.
  • Apples.
  • Red wine.
  • Zucchini.
  • Hazelnuts.
  • Green beans.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Cherries.
  • Radishes.
  • Cauliflower.
  • Potatoes.
  • Apricots.
  • Carrots.
  • Celery.
  • Bananas.
  • Spinach.
  • Raisins (most alkaline-promoting).

Now comes aromatherapy

What you want is taming inflammation, which means cooling your joints.

Here are the best cooling essential oils to massage on your knees, ankles and hips

In 10 ml of arnica infused base oil, add the following Essential oils:

  • 3 drops of Blue chamomile (matricaria chamomilla).
  • 2 drops of Peppermint (menthe piperita).
  • 5 drops of Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis).

These powerful anti-inflammatory essential oils are also pain fighting oils that will help you start or continue to exercise, the fearless way.

Marathon Des Sables® diet

What should I take for one week race in the desert?

During the MDS® the runner must have a minimum total weight of 6.5 kg. The important is to have 14.000 kcal, which will decrease each day around 2000 kcal and it’s equivalent weight approx. 500gr or 600gr/day in your bag.

Everything must be well planned and trained.

The runner must train with his bag, shoes, socks…but his principal objective here is think about hydration, food and supplements for this race. That means nutritional requirements during  the desert run, like having a quick digestion, lots of calories in few aliments and easily absorbed without gastrointestinal complications. The supplementary food is very important in this kind of race.

Normally many runners will carry more than 6,5 kg during the Marathon des Sables®, but its important to know the weight limit and the rules because each day the organizers will control the runner’s bag.

What should the runner bring for this week race?

The runner couldn’t forget the base rule to have energy and succeed during this marathon:

  1. Provide carbohydrates to maintain adequate blood glucose concentration and delay the depletion of glycogen stores.
  2. Replenishment of electrolytes, especially sodium.
  3. Fluid replacement to prevent dehydration.
  4. After each stage day race take also some protein and amino acids to recovery muscle.
  5. If the runner does it, it’s no mystery, he can enjoy the race and finish all course with health.

Some examples of what to bring during the Marathon des Sables® for breakfast:

  • Cereals or oats.
  • Nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts).
  • Cappucino in powder.
  • Dates.

15 min before race departure:

1 gel.

During the stage day of Marathon des Sables®:

  • Electrolytes (mineral salt).
  • Energy bars.
  • Gels.
  • Dry fruits (dates, raisins, prunes).
  • Honey.

Lunch time (after the stage day race):

  • Electrolytes (mineral salt).
  • Amino acids (BCAA and Glutamina).
  • Lyophilized food.
  • Nuts.

Dinner time (after the stage day race):

  • Cuscus or mashed potatoes.
  • Dry cheese or dry meat (ham, chorizo).
  • Soup in powder.

During the long stage (day 4) probably the runner needs something else to eat as a solid food.

Maybe can be the  lyophilized food if it’s quickly to prepare and the runner doesn’t need hot water. Otherwise the runner can take some cereals with dry fruits. Important to bring a bit of oil, salt and pepper then the ultra runner can cook his meal using it. Also one peace of garlic and ginger because they works as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Remember the basic rules for an ultra runner

15 minutes before departure:

Eat something between 30-50g of carbohydrate such as a bar, a gel or dry banana.

During the race:

WEIGHT KG X 0.7 = x gr MINIMUM of CARBOHYDRATE/HOUR.
WEIGHT KG X 1 = x gr MAXIMUM of CARBOHYDRATE/HOUR.

Usually the best quantity is between 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour of racing.

Nutritional strategy during long and cold expeditions

Compression products as well as a good strategy of food and hydration are necessary during a long and cold trip

Tiredness, extreme cold and long expeditions make the athlete suffer a lot, and mainly the body, at a physiological level. Attention to nutritional strategy will be important because the body and mind suffer high stress conditions. The food must be well chosen: small volume, easy to digest and concentrated energy. They should be foods that require less consumption oxygen and less energy on digestion. The figure of 7,000 kilocalories (kcal / day) might mean that an athlete may spend a lot when in intense activity in cold and long trip, for example. And if it’s also in high altitude (above 3,000 meters altitude) the body will spend more calories than in normal life!

During an expedition the energy intake should be based mainly and primarily on carbohydrates (65%), as they give us energy to continue the activity. Moreover, proteins are what help us in the reconstruction and muscle recovery (10%) and they are healthy and good fats (25%). The good fat helps to protect our body from severe cold and is a good source of energy. A diet rich in carbohydrate quantity prevents from hypoglycaemia.

Details like a hot broth or a hot and salty soup before, during and after each day of expedition is an excellent option to keep the body warm, safe from hypothermia or falling sales. But the broth or soup has low calories … so therefore it is essential to carry in your backpack during activity, nuts, dry fruits (like nuts, peanuts, dry banana, apple, pineapple, dates or raisins), energy bars and cereals, because they are good sources of carbohydrates and calories. Having gels are a good choice for moments of stress when the weather is bad or when our hands are frozen and we need immediate power before some point of maximum effort.

During your stay in the refuge or hotel or base camp to sleep, the food must also be rich in calories (protein, carbohydrates, good fats and minerals salts) to recover the entire body. Couscous with vegetables or meat, pasta with Bolognese sauce, rice with chicken and vegetables soups are examples of food to bring in a long expedition.

Coffee and tea are important to keep the athlete alerted during the expedition. Drinking water and mineral salt (isotonic drinks) are essential to maintain a hydrated and balanced body.

If you keep this nutrition strategy you can run, cycle and walk light (without extra weight) and be fit to finish your trip !

Green juice secrets

Green juices are power packed with nutrition

Green vegetables have the ability to transform sunshine into the food that all creatures consume.

True to their nature, greens produce chlorophyll, which oxygenates the body.

This enables us to release stored toxins in the body.

If you are a sportive person, this is an excellent supplement to your diet.

Taking green juice, your haemoglobin (that has a similar molecular structure as that of your red blood cells) will get elevated, improving the blood circulation as a result and giving your body a boost of energy.

A green juice will cleanse your digestive system, lungs and liver (which will rev up, if sluggish – causing you to retain weight).

However, few know that one must opt for green juices as opposed to just vegetable juice.

So what makes the green juice a better option?

This is because without the fiber, fruit juice is basically sugar, which will add to your weight.

So juice fruits as a treat but try and eat them whole as far as possible.

While the fiber content takes a beating, juices do deliver a powerful array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are absorbed immediately into the blood stream. However, avoid combining vegetables with fruits, as they require different enzymes for digestion. The only exception is an apple, which has a more neutral effect.

You can see below some recipes.

All green plants have Vitamins A and C, which are important co-factors for calcium absorption.

Chlorophyll foods also act as a form of ‘stored sunshine’, to regulate calcium and Vitamin D deficiency.

So if you get no sunshine, then increase the greens in your diet.

mn-o1

This quick and easy recipe is made in a blender, giving you the option to strain the juice for a thinner consistency, or no, it’s up to you.

Ingredients:

RECIPE 1

– 1 1/2 cups water
– 2 cups kale
– 2 green apples cored
– 1/2 cup parsley leaves
– 1 medium cucumber
– quartered ?2 celery stalks roughly chopped
– 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger peeled
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

RECIPE 2

– 1 1/2 cup of water
– 1 cup spinash
– 4 broccoli florets
– 1 medium cucumber
– 1 apple cored
– 1/2 cup parsley leaves
– 1 medium cucumber
– quartered? 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
– 1 (1-inch) piece of ginger peeled
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

OPTION 1

Add all  the ingredients into the blender jug in the order in which they are listed. Blend the ingredients on the highest-level setting, such as “liquefy,” until the juice is well blended.

It will have the consistency of a smoothie.

If you want to enjoy the pulp with your juice, pour the mixture into glasses and serve. If you prefer a thinner consistency, pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, and using a spatula, press the pulp into the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Pour the strained juice into glasses and serve.

OPTION 2

You can do the same process with just 1 cup of water and without the lemon juice. You leave this consistency smoothie in ice cubes.

Then, when you want to do the juice, you take one ice cube and make your lemon juice (1 cup of water and 1 lemon), mix all into the blender.

Training is positive for the libido!

A good and balanced diet with some exercises help the libido!

When we do sports, it helps our health: reduce the cholesterol, decrease blood pressure, improve blood glucose, help in weight loss, oxygenate the cells, develop muscle strength, control inflammation.

This combination of positive factors help to improve libido too. A woman’s libido increases 20 minutes after vigorous exercises and, for men, testosterone levels related to behavior and sexual interest hormone, also increases rapidly and after intense physical activity.

But be careful… excessive exercises are related to the drop in testosterone, leading to a reduction of libido in men. In women, excessive exercise causes a reduction in estrogen and progesterone hormones, decreasing libido and sexual satisfaction.

The overtraining also increases the level of cortisol hormone in both sexes, causing muscle catabolism (muscle reduction), suppressing the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

To counteract the effects of grueling trainings, healthy diet and rest are the key

The diet needs to provide nutrients able to increase the production of sex hormones.

So the intake of good fats like olive oil, avocado, salmon, tuna, sardines and nuts are important.

The consumption of good sources of vitamins and minerals are also necessary

An alternative is the use of Arginine as the amino acid stimulates the production of nitric oxide, leading to vasodilatation and improvement of peripheral circulation. Fish, seafood, sunflower seeds, brown rice, walnuts, hazelnuts are examples of foods with arginine. Arginine can also be supplemented by a doctor or nutritionist.

Dopamine, is also super important in this process

This neurotransmitter increases sexual interest. The main hormone precursors are the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine present mainly in foods of animal origin.

Here you can see some sources of these elements:

B6 Vitamin: wheat germ, oats, whole grains, beans and bananas.
B9 Vitamin: mushrooms (shimeji, shitake), broccoli, tomato and spinach.
C Vitamin: watercress, parsley, kale, tomato, citrus fruits (cherry, pineapple, lemon, orange, strawberry, kiwi).
Copper: beef, apple, lamb, bananas, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, walnuts and cocoa powder.

Have a balanced diet, training (no overtraining) and a good rest and you can have a healthy sex life.

IRONMAN nutrition strategy

Physical demand exists and the role of food is vital to achieve this goal

The average total caloric expenditure for an IRONMAN can range from 8,000 to 11,000 calories. Consuming this amount of calories is extremely difficult, but the athlete needs to eat and drink, not to loose too much calories and performance.  Nutrition for an Ironman influences, so you can be first or second, or you can or cannot reach the goal.

Carbohydrate Intake/Hydratation

  • Do not consume too much food as it can cause intestinal distress (diarrhea, abdominal pain).
  • Consume enough carbohydrates to provide additional fuel to the working skeletal muscles.
  • Keep the blood sugar (glucose) to the limit to avoid unnecessary wear during races and maintain certain performance.
  • Avoid weight loss during the trainings. Some of the lost weight is fat and carbohydrates (besides water that is stored, carbohydrate, or glycogen). The loss of more than 2 Kg of weight will definitely affect performance.
  • Optimize hydration including sodium, electrolytes and carbohydrates (sugary drinks).

All carbohydrates are ingested immediately and used by the muscle (oxidized). The carbohydrate source can be glucose, sucrose, maltodextrins or fructose. Consistency of carbohydrates: solid, liquid, gel, etc. 

What is sought is to increase the oxidation of muscle, and to achieve this it is recommended to consume a combination of glucose (or maltodextrin) and fructose (2 parts glucose and 1 fructose) as they are transported in two different ways in the small intestine and will eventually bring more profit.

Also, drinks containing glucose and fructose are better tolerated than solid foods, because they require less digestion. It is very easy to prepare these sports drinks, ingredients are maltodextrin, fructose, salt and water. You should calculate what should be your carbohydrate intake during the race in order to meet their needs and to not be weary. An easy way to calculate is 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of weight. For smaller triathlons, the recommended intake is between 30-60 grams per hour.

Electrolyte requirements

  • The consumption of sodium and other electrolytes is of great importance. Gels are good source of electrolytes because they provide approximately 200 mg per unit, depending on the type and flavor. A cyclist loses about 1 liter of sweat per hour equivalent to 1300 mg of sodium, 230 mg potassium and 12 mg of magnesium. For this reason, in some cases it is helpful to supplement with additional electrolytes (sodium or tablets or capsules of electrolytes).
  • Hyponatremia (drinking too much water) is a problem during an IRONMAN. It is normal to have lost water weight during the competition, but ideally would be minimal and properly hydrated. You can not take large amounts of water as they can cause hyponatremia. You should preferably be hydrated with sports drinks and gels and consume foods that allow you to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Swim time / Cycle time / Run time

  •  During the swim section try to avoid eat and drink, keep your energy to relax and swim well. If you feel weak, take a gel.
  • Remember that the first feed zone is during the bike section (because of distance, convenience and stability stomach).  It is the best time to eat solid food. The best option of solid food? Need to be a fast carbohydrates (sushi, sweet potato, white soft bread, rice bars…). Aim for 200-600 calories per hour on the bike based on your size, training and racing experience, and tolerance for food intake.
  • Carry most of your calories with you on the bike and get water and sports drink at aid stations.
  •  Rely more on drinks and less on solid food as the race progresses. If you tend to forget to eat and drink during your race, set your watch to beep every 20 minutes.
  •  When you leave the bike and go to the run section…remember that you have a long way to go and need to settle into a smooth cadence, it’s important to drink and eat well. You can take a gel or bar with some liquid calories such as a maltodextrin and an isotonic drink. The electrolytes are also important during the run section.
  •  Eat and drink as much as you feel like it, but try to get more liquid food during the run time. – – Don’t drink water as this may exacerbate hyponatremia.
  • When you finish the race, some electrolytes and amino acids are welcomed for a faster recovery.

Prepare your mind and stomach because IRONMAN is not easy, but if you eat and drink well you can HAVE FUN, for sure!

WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE, DURING & AFTER THE EFFORT?

By now, most of us know that nutrition plays a vital part in the training process of an athlete. What and when is eaten before a workout can make a significant difference inperformance and recovery.

Here are some basic peri-workout nutrition guidelines to help you perform and recover faster.

PRE WORKOUT NUTRITION

Basically, what we look for in a pre-workout meal is something that will provide us: sustained energy, adequate hydration, something that will boost performance while preserving muscle mass and also speed recovery. However, food is only useful once it has been digested and absorbed. Therefore, timing is important when considering a pre-workout meal.

– 30 minutes prior to workout:

When we have less than an hour before a workout there is less time for digestion: for example an early morning session. The best recommendation for this type of pre-workout meal is to look for liquid or easily digestible foods.

Some examples:
• Fruit and milk or other low calorie beverage such as unsweetened almond beverage
• Sports drink
• Carbohydrate gel
• A banana

– 1-2 hours before a workout:

Eating a nutritionally balanced meal is the best option for fueling when there is adequate time to digest. Nutritional requirements will vary depending on duration and intensity of training session. Here are come suggestions:

Some examples:
• Liquid meals: example, protein shake
• Smoothies or shakes
• Sports bar
• Cereal with milk
• Fruit

Exercising in a fastened state is generally not recommended. While it is true that a greater proportion of fat stores might be consumed as a source of energy. It is more likely that if you eat a carbohydrate snack or meal prior to a workout, you will be able to exercise harder and for a longer period of time.

DURING WORKOUT NUTRITION

The most factor during a workout is keep your body hydrated. If your workout session is less than an hour, most likely you don’t need to eat. However,
If you are engaging in high intensity vigorous workouts or your workout lasts more than an 60 minutes, the standard recommendation is consume 50-100 calories every half hour in the form of carbohydrates.

– Example of snacks for +60 minute workout:
• Sport gel
• ½ high-carbohydrate, low-protein, low-fat sport/energy bar, such as PowerBar or Clif Bar
• Bite-sized sport/energy bars or gummies
• Medium banana
• Large orange

POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

The primary goal of post work nutrition is “Recovery”. Recovery refers to and includes the following: restoring muscle and liver glycogen stores, consuming adequate protein in order to promote muscle repair, and fluid and electrolyte replacement.

Studies have determined that the body’s cells are most receptive for replenishing nutrients 30 minutes after intense or prolonged training. The goal is to provide carbohydrates into your system within this lapse of time. Taking advantage of this window of opportunity will allow for muscles to be replenished much faster thus preparing them for the next training session.

In some cases, athletes may not feel hungry immediately after an intense exercise session. In this situation, the recommendation is to consume juice that is high in carbohydrates. When appetite is restored, consume a meal that is high in carbohydrates and also includes protein and fat. Post workout recovery meals vary, depending on workout intensity and duration.

General Tips:
• If your workout lasted less than 1 hour, proceed to replenish fluids and eat a normal balanced meal.
• If your workout lasted longer than 60 minutes and or was a high intensity workout:

– Replenish fluids, examples of what you can eat:

  • Protein shake with banana
  • Tuna and whole wheat
  • Yogurt and Fruit, such as berries
  • Turkey and Cheese slices with Apple slices
  • Peanut butter and banana on Whole Wheat Toast

– Examples of post exercise snacks/ meals for prolonged training sessions:

With in first 30 minutes post exercise:

  • Recovery drink: protein based for example chocolate milk or other sports recovery drink
  • 2 sports gels
  • 500 ml fruit juice
  • 2 slices of toast with honey or banana

After an 30-1 hour:

  • Proceed to eat a balanced meal
  • Eggs, toast and fruit
  • Whole wheat tuna o turkey sandwich with fruit (apple)
  • Burrito with beans, brown rice and guacamole

Tour de France Diet

What do riders eat during 21 days on LE TOUR?

When I started to study Sport Nutrition in Barcelona University that was my first motivation…study how these riders eat and drink. Now, I can tell you…

They spend around 7.000 to 8.000 kcal/day and need to recover it daily, and they need high level of energy before, during and after each stage. How to manage that? They eat natural food and energetic bars!!!!

They have breakfast around 3 hours and half before the start. Usually they have oatmeal with quinoa or white rice with quinoa. They also eat lots of white rice and quinoa during lunch and dinner. Why? White rice is 100% natural cereal, a fast source of carbohydrate and there is no gluten in the composition, which makes the organism absorption better. They also have quinoa, a vegetal protein and carbohydrate source that is also easy to digest and is full of vitamins and amino acids.

Two hours before the start of a stage they drink slow-release carbohydrates for energy. They will sip this half-liter concoction on the bus and in the morning’s start town to bring their day’s calorie count to around 1.000 before the gun even goes off. Most riders burn 600 to 900 calories an hour, but their bodies can process only 250 to 300 per hour.

During the stage they eat gels, chews, and energetic bars. Garmin, for example, cooks up batches of rice bars and starts to give riders homemade salty and sweet options. That’s great for them. In this way the riders go up to about 2,500 calories by the end of a stage.

After crossing the finish line, they start to re-hydrate, drink some water with soda and isotonic drink, to keep sugar and mineral salt back to the body.
Once back on the bus, they have their first recovery drink, a sweet and fruity carbohydrate mix, and containers of white rice and egg dishes. They have also an optional second recovery drink that is a chocolate-flavored and protein-packed to aide muscle repair on the drive to the next hotel.

Dinnertime is white rice again! A meal can be a light Thai curry over white rice, for example, as well as some vegetables for their antioxidants.

That final binge of the day adds about 2.500 calories and enables to replenish muscles energy stores, give muscles the necessary protein to rebuild, then start loading up for the next day’s effort.

The riders should eat a rich meal, but also a good test meal! The body and mind of these champions need to be happy to keep riding during the 21 days in maximum effort.