Chris Froome’s Cycling Nutrition TipsThe Red Bulletin talks to two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome about how to eat to go faster
1 Speed Comes From The Kitchen
OK, so you may have to put some pedalling in too but when it comes to cycling faster it’s the power to weight ratio that decides your pace over distance - time to drop some body fat, in other words. ‘‘For us power to weight is such an important ratio and ideally we want to be as light as possible with the most amount of power,’ he tells The Red Bulletin. ‘When I turned professional I thought that my racing weight was 70-71kg whereas I have found that in reality I can get it down to around 67kg.’
2 Drop The Bad Habits
The first step to leaning up is to get some easy wins by dropping processed foods from your diet and increasing wholegrains and healthy veg. ‘I had some bad habits - eating the wrong foods at the wrong times, eating more processed foods. My diet has gone a lot more towards lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates, organic food where possible - just keeping things really clean and healthy,’ says Froome.
3 Go Low Carb Breakfast On Some Training Days To Boost Fat Metabolism
Your body needs to be trained to metabolise fat for fuel, according to Chris Froome’s training regime. ‘We sometimes do what we call a low-carb ride where we will have an omelette in the morning with a bit of avocado or something but no carbohydrates, and stick to that at least for the first few hours of the ride. In theory that teaches your body to be more efficient and to burn fat as fuel so that when you do come to a heavier intensity day or a race day and you fuel up well with carbohydrates before the race it’s almost like you’ve got a second source of energy that you didn’t have before,’ he says.
4 Cut Down On The Gluten
Many pro athletes follow largely gluten-free diets and Froome is no different. ‘I used to eat a lot of muesli out of the packet that I thought was healthy, but it was full of sugar and wheat. When you have more gluten you also absorb more water and you swell up a bit. Your body just holds more water with bread and pasta. That kind of stuff I have learnt to avoid. Instead we eat a lot of white rice - it’s really easy to digest and it keeps us topped up on our carbs - as well as a lot of quinoa too,’ says Froome.
5 Make Sure Your Fuel Properly AFTER A Ride
Some amateur athletes think it’s a good idea to cut calories or carbs all the time, even after rides - turns out this is disastrous for your recovery and performance. ‘If I didn’t fuel properly after today’s training I would go into tomorrow’s interval sessions and probably get halfway through the first interval and I would be just dead - I would be empty,’ says Froome. ‘So post-training meals especially on low-carb days, feel like your main meal of the day. You need a good healthy portion of carbs to get your glycogen stores back up for the next day’s training.’