Everyone has their unique dietary requirements, so it’s vital to find out what works for you.
Here is what I recommend to my athletes as their general daily nutrition:
- Eat foods that are as unprocessed as possible
- Have a healthy serving of lightly steamed veggies with evening meals
- Eat low GI and unprocessed carbohydrates
- Eat white and lean red meat
- Reduce the consumption of soft drinks, fatty, fried and highly salted foods, biscuits and products containing white flour
- Drink water adequately but not too much that you leach your body of minerals
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol
And while training for and competing at the event:
I strongly recommend that you experiment to work out your nutritional requirements during your training rides leading up to L’Étape Australia.
For rides less than two hours there is no need to consume carbohydrate as we have enough sugar reserves in our body to cover us for this time.
For rides longer that two hours aim to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour. This can be met by consuming a variety of combinations of sports drinks, Winners Energy bars and gels and normal food like fruit, ANZAC biscuits, fruit cake, and sandwiches. A Winners Energy Bar or Gel usually contains around 30-40 grams of carbs each.
Cyclists with heavier builds consume more carbohydrate per hour than lighter built cyclists.
Most products now have their carbohydrate content listed on the outside of the packet. This makes it relatively easy to work out how many of them you’ll need to eat per hour.
Remember that these are guidelines only!
The amount of fluid you consume will vary depending on how hot it is when you are riding and how much you perspire.
Each individual has their specific hydration needs, so it’s important to experiment while out riding until you find out what works for you.
Hydration can be complicated further because many people rely on the carbohydrate in the sports drinks to provide them with their fuel as well.
On cooler days, they may not be drinking enough of the sports drink to meet their 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour requirements. If this is the case, then supplementing the sports drink with a snack will help.
On the hottest part of hot days, you may not be able to consume enough fluid compared to what you lose. If you know that you are going to be riding through the middle part of a really hot day, it’s important to ensure that you keep on top of your hydration earlier on in the ride. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to run deeply into hydration deficit before the midday heat.
Having a headache on the bike on a hot day is a sure sign that you are dehydrated.
Cycling-Inform help you climb better and have you riding faster in less than four weeks so you can be your best at your next bunch ride, recreational event or race.
You can register to the 12-week training plan provided by Cycling-Inform and tailored to the distance you decided to ride when registering to L’Étape Australia for $119, or $149 at L’Étape official website.