A nice lecture that aims to guide you on what your body needs to perform on the bike. From an estimate of the calories required each day, distribution of calories, and how to balance your nutrients properly all the way to how the correct diet aids recovery and makes you faster!

Too long; didn’t watch

If you’re hungry: eat
If you’re thirsty: drink

Skip to around 6 minutes for the start of the lecture.

My Tips?

Concentrate on eating good, healthy food until satisfied. If you’re putting in an hour or so on the bike every day or training hard you won’t gain any weight in excess fat. You may put on some lean muscle, but that’s a good thing! When you’re hungry – eat but try and hit every meal just starting to feel hungry again. If you aren’t hungry when your next meal is due, go a bit easier on the between meal snacks next time and find your sweet spot.

Eat well after a ride (high GI snacks immediately afterwards are good – like a bagel, chocolate milk, etc…). Then shower up, let that settle and eat a well balanced meal within a few hours. Then continue to eat Low GI / lean meats / veg throughout the day when hungry. And make sure you take on enough fluids, too.

I’ve learned from experience recently it’s vitally important to stay fuelled and hydrated at all times and not to count the calories when you’re training heavily. Recently Ive been 54-54.5kg at 172cm tall. That’s pretty light and borderline unhealthy. I was noticeably weaker on the bike than I was at the start of the year when I weighed only say 1.5kg more. My 5minute power was still pretty good but my endurance really suffered.

I’m now working hard at stuffing my face full of (quality) food to gain a bit of muscle! You really don’t want to be in my situation. The difference of 1/2kg between what I weigh now and what I weighed when I was going well (~56/56.5kg) is negligible in the real world conditions. My power dropped with my weight so my w/kg is essentially the same as it always was but now I’m weaker on the flats and no quicker at going up hill (which I enjoy doing the most). Right now I’m more 54.5 – 55kg and feeling good.

Fluid Needs

Staying hydrated is important for your body’s everyday needs. This includes recovery, appetite management, blood pressure, and mental abilities. On the bike it helps with speed, recovery, and injury prevention.

Here’s a way to calculate how much you should be drinking every day.
kg x 30-35ml per kg = __ ml/day
55 x 33ml per kg = 1815 ml/day
For me, that’s almost 2l of water.


If you haven’t already read Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. He suggests not calorie counting but instead tracking the quality of your diet. http://racingweight.com/dqs/index.html.