The amount of calories that Tour de France riders have to eat is fairly staggering. Somewhere in the ballpark of 5000 to 6000 calories per day… and they still lose weight due to the stressful three-week effort. There are lots of ways to get those calories, and some are better than others. In an interview with Alan Lim of Garmin-Slipstream I found some insight into what his team is doing to make sure that the team riders are getting the chance to be as healthy as possible during the challenges of the Tour de France. Here’s what I gleaned from the article:
~Hire a team chef to prepare foods with fresh ingredients every day in a super-clean kitchen environment
~Choose foods that improve vitamin and mineral absorption (he cites pineapple)
~Choose foods that are high in antioxidants such as blueberries and cherries
~Choose protein sources like lean chicken and some red meat
~Almond butter is a more nutitious choice than peanut butter (I’d add that raw is better than roasted…)
~Most importantly, choose foods that are not inflammatory to the body. This will aid in recovery, digestion, and healing.
~Aim for a daily diet that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free
To me, this is great information and a great example that this team sets for all athletes. As a group, athletes get pegged as being “carb junkies,” avoiding foods with higher nutrition available.