Tour de France Riders: What Do They Eat?
Most people do not know that the Tour de France is already 116 years old.🚴 The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two World Wars. Traditionally, comes July the “Hexagon” will be roaming with cyclists from all around the world. And this year, the route starts from Brussel and ends at Champs Elysees. Bonjour Paris! 🗼
Yet, this is not why I’m writing this article… 😀
Have you ever wondered what do Tour de France riders eat? 🤔🤔🤔I know I do. It used to be a lot of bread 🍞and pasta (French right?), but not anymore. Every Tour de France rider will burn approximately 140,000 kcal during the 21 days of racing, their diet has to stay pretty diverse and full of quality nutrition. For some reason I kept on thinking about meals on wheels.
At 9am they will start their day with a big breakfast as to recover from the previous day. How big? We are talking about a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, a large omelette, three sandwiches with cheese and ham, 100g of pasta (seriously?), 1 cup of yoghurt, 500ml fruit smoothie, 1 glass of apple juice and of course 1 cup of coffee.☕
10.30am they will continue snacking on a piece of fruit, a couple of energy bars, a lot of water, and, of course, another coffee. Now we are talking. Probably since the stage starts at 12pm therefore riders still have a chance to get some more fuel.
This is the fun part. From 12pm to 5pm they consumed their lunch on the bike. 😱😱
The meal usually will be two rice cakes, a croissant with jam and ham, 6 energy bars, 2 isotonic gels, 2 cans of Coke, 6 bidon of electrolyte drinks. And at 5pm riders will start their recovery. Recovery starts at the moment a rider gets off their bike. Usually, they get a recovery drink from their Soigneurs (healer/medic) as soon as they finish a stage but they will continue to eat on the bus. The meal will be a recovery drink, a chicken sandwich, another rice cake, 500ml fruit and vegetable smoothie, and of course, 2 coffee because they don’t want riders to fall asleep.😴😴😴 No, made that up although they do drink 2 cups of coffee.
The fun did not stop there. At 8pm riders will have their dinner. This is what a race day dinner might look like: a large beefsteak, 150g pasta, 1 cup of yoghurt, 500ml vegetable juice or a big salad, and guess what? Another 2 cups of coffee. At 11pm to finish the day while the rider’s body continues to burn a lot of calories even hours after the stage ended. The diet this time is focused on easy-to-digest carbohydrate-rich foods. We are talking about a cup of yoghurt with cereals, a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit. No caffeine this time. 🚫
Now, do you think you can eat all of that in one day and ride 200km through the Alps while doing it? 😏😏😏