Moniqu Ryan

Sports Nutrition Blog

Tour de France Nutrition

CYCLIST - TOUR DE FRANCEWith Stage 17 of the Tour de France completed it is hard not to appreciate how hard the cyclists must work to fuel before the start, fuel and hydrate during the race, and refuel after the race. Fueling and hydrating during the race may pose the toughest challenge. A recent study took a  look at what various endurance athletes consumed during their event, including profesisonal cyclists during stage racing. The researchers wanted to quantify the athletes  energy, nutrient, and fluid intakes and investigate the association with GI symptoms. The triathletes compeiting in Ironman and Half-Ironman races had the hgihest carbohydrate intake- about 62-71g per hour, while the pro cyclists cyclists were at 64 g/hr. Marathoners had a tough time at 35 g/hr, while recreational cyclists consumed 53 g/hr. The more trained the athlete, the less gastrointestinal (GI) distress they experienced during the event. GI symptoms can often limit fueling during exercise- though cyclists have the advantage of a relatively stable stomach during exercise, and the ability to carry their fuel and hydration. While the athletes who consumed higher carbohydrate amounts also had a greater risk of nausea, they also had faster times! So training your stomach to consume greater volumes of a sports drink can be done and tolerated, with the result of improved performance.