Eating And Drinking During The Tour de France
When you visit France on vacation, one of the things that you must do is sample the local cuisine. Cyclists in the Tour de France need to eat and drink, too, and while that may make some of you a little envious, it’s not always as glamorous as it may seem. Riding a bike at top speeds all day can be exhausting, to the point where eating feels like a chore. Getting the energy built back up to go again the next day is a must for riders, which is why so much thought is put into the food and drink consumed by Tour de France participants.
Eating too much is bad, as is not eating enough, while the wrong food intake can lead to real problems. A food plan that works for one rider may not work for others. You will find that some cyclists crave real food during big events, while others opt for nutritional bars and he like. These decisions are not made lightly, though, and usually come from knowing exactly what your body needs to perform at its best. While every cyclist is different in their eating habits, let’s give you an idea of what the food and drink day might look like for a Tour de France cyclist.
Eggs deliver a wide variety of essential proteins, which is why they are so popular with cyclists. It also helps that you can make a variety of different meals with them, so things need not get boring. Porridge with raisins is another popular choice.
Before The Start Of The Race
Cereal and carbohydrate bars are essential eating for riders prior to the race, with the whole lot washed down by an electrolyte drink.
During The Race
Here is where things can get a little tricky, as much of what is consumed depends on the intensity of the stage. High intensity rides will see cyclists go with gels as the food source, as they are easy to get down quickly. Sugar levels need to stay high, and riders will try to store 2-3 units of carbs to maintain optimum energy levels. This all breaks down to the average rider needing to take in about 60-90 grams of carbs every single hour to keep their levels where they need to be.
After The Race
Shakes that are high in carbs and protein are taken after the race to help with the recovery of muscles that have been seriously overworked. Ideally, cyclists try to get these shakes in within 20 minutes of the race ending, as that is when the shakes are most effective at repairing the muscles.
A big meal comprised of three courses will be eaten at night, with a pasta or salad usually served as the starter. The main course will consist of foods that are high in protein and carbs, with chicken, fish, turkey, pasta, and rice all good choices. Desserts are usually always fruit based.
The goal is to have the muscles repaired while the cyclist sleeps, which is why, protein shakes, yogurt, or milk are popular choices right before bed.