How many carbs does a pro eat?

Very interesting CyclingTips article or research following a pro through the Giro. Short excerpt:

“ The magnitude of Schultz’s CHO intake throughout the race is noteworthy. Depending on who you listen to, current sport nutrition guidelines suggest athletes should consume between 8-12 g/kg of carbohydrate to fuel 4-5 hours of moderate exercise. Schultz’s consumption (12.2 g/kg on average) is in line with the top end of that range, but according to the authors of this latest paper, the current guidelines “fail to capture the substantial day-by-day variation in CHO intake employed by athletes during these multi-day events.”

For example, you can see from the range of Schultz’s CHO intakes at his various meals that the amount was varying from day to day rather than staying constant:

  • Breakfast: 71-152 g (1.1 – 2.3 g/kg)
  • Post stage: 70-267 g (1.1 – 4 g/kg)
  • Dinner: 80-326 g (1.2 – 4.9 g/kg)

As the researchers write, “this variation was dependent on the physical demands of the current stage in combination with the anticipated demands of the next stage.”

The least carbohydrate Schultz consumed in one day was 340 g (5.2 g/kg), on the first rest day. His biggest day was the mountainous stage 18 with nearly 5,000 m of climbing; a day in which he consumed a total of 1,118 g (17.7 g/kg) of CHO. That’s around 150% of the recommended amount and the equivalent of roughly 28 cups of cooked pasta. More than 4.2 kg of the stuff.

Here’s how his consumption broke down across that massive day:

  • Breakfast: 123 g (1.9 g/kg)
  • On the bike: 462 g (6.8 g/kg)
  • Immediately post-stage: 267 g (4 g/kg)
  • Dinner: 323 g (4.9 g/kg)

For context, an average adult male might eat somewhere in the range of 225 to 325 g of carbohydrates in an entire day .”

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“On average, Schultz consumed a total of 812 g of carbohydrate per day of the Vuelta, or 12.2 g per kilogram of body mass. That’s the equivalent of about 20 cups – or more than 3 kg(!) – of cooked pasta, per day.”

Referenced paper: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marc-Quod/publication/359801959_CHO_periodisation_in_cycling_Case_Study_The_application_of_daily_carbohydrate_periodisation_throughout_a_cycling_Grand_Tour/links/624f220fd726197cfd43b68d/CHO-periodisation-in-cycling-Case-Study-The-application-of-daily-carbohydrate-periodisation-throughout-a-cycling-Grand-Tour.pdf

I moved your post under the one with the same article that was posted this morning.

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I’m surprised this one didn’t generate any chat. You never know :rofl:

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:man_shrugging:

Maybe they got all their thoughts out in the one that was similar to this from a year or so ago?

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My favorite part of that article is them sitting with a bowl of plain white rice, a plate of plain spaghetti, and a banana.

“What do pros eat?” in one simple graphic. :rofl:

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Banana for scale

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We are still digesting it.

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This should be an automatic ban.

(good one)

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I’m less curious about their carb consumption than about the author’s idea of “moderate exercise”

A similar but far less in depth article. Still talking about 100g/h+ (for key stages)

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