Optimal diet if I have access to anything

Basically, what the header says. I have unlimited access to prepared food: lean protein, rice, yogurt, eggs, milk, fresh fruit, and raw and cooked vegetables.

All for free.

I have been making big salads with some rice and a protein. Usually chicken or fish. Then fresh fruit for dessert. Breakfast is usually oatmeal and eggs and fruit.

I’m looking to structure my eating a little more for performance. What would you do?

For context: I’m 5’10”/177cm and 165lbs/75kg and 40 years old. FTP at 302 after a 2 month injury break. Would love to be at 70kg but not willing to lose any strength.

I’ve read and recommend this:


Optimal diet is very dependent on person to person. For me it means food freedom, unless it’s dairy because it doesn’t agree with me. I try to hit daily protein targets, fuel my workouts, when I’m not working out eating sugar I eat complex carbs, protein and fats. Sometime you have to eat that pizza or crush that pint of ice cream because life is too short. Then I take a lactaid :joy:
The endurance diet is a great book, I also follow this guy Jordan Syatt who wrote a book and advocates food freedom but also what works to get stronger. Be wary of influencers telling you certain foods are bad and poison. At least that’s my outlook on life now.


I use Frank’s winning in the kitchen plans and weight loss plan over at FasCat. I feel amazing on and off the bike.


This is a very broad question…optimal for performance, for weight loss? You can’t have both.

Speaking from experience, as soon as I stopped chasing w/kg and weight in general, for focusing purely on power I got faster in most aspects of cycling.

Thanks for pushing me to clarify: I’m mostly asking about performance. What and when to eat for best performance. Carb timing. Protein intake. All that

The short answer is eat enough to perform and recover. For most people it’s a lot more than they realize (and eat). Eat on your rides. 60-90g carbs per hour is a good benchmark. Have protein/carbs post workout too. Outside of that, eat pretty normally, but if you want some numbers…shoot for ~1.2g protein/kg, 6-10g carbs/kg, fat should sort itself out mostly . A lot of this depends on your volume too. Have a look at a TDEE calculator if it helps.

Things like salads are fine, but just remember they can fill you up with very minimal calories etc. People make nutrition seem more complicated than it needs to be. Trial/error & adjust, listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

There are lots of good resources online.

Thanks for all this! I do take in 60-90g of carbs/hr (homemade BetaFuel + Nuun Tablet) so I’m definitely not dieting on the bike.

After looking at all these replies here’s what I’m understanding: 1) eat enough and have some flexibility with what you eat. 2) don’t overthink it; let the body be the guide 3) check out the online resources.

I think things are going ok for me, given these parameters. The one thing I’ve been thinking about and probably overthinking is the timing of carbs: should I eat some sugar pre-ride? Should I get in some protein and carbs within 30 minutes of getting off the bike (duh).

Big takeaway for me here is this: no need to eat anything special pre-ride (normal breakfast, lunch - high quality carbs and protein; fat sorts itself out), fuel the ride with sugar, and then eat some protein and carbs after. Over the course of the day shoot for 90g of protein and between 450 and 750g of carbs.

That’s it. The free unlimited food is just a plus!


There’s no perfect recipe that’s applicable to anybody but some good practices that help.

If you have a ride many hours after your previous meal probably good to have Sth small an hour before. Eg for the 6pm ride after you only had lunch.

It’s good practice to have some post-workout fuel right away. The “nutrition window” is longer but it otherwise might take an hour or so to get to eat (shower, getting ready, …). By that point anybody is ravenous and portion control gets hard.

Where/how are you getting all this free food?! :joy:

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More. 1.8-2.2 g/kg

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Not necessary for the most part. We’re endurance athletes, not bodybuilders. More protein is good, but it also means you have to eat less carbs.

I know, right?! Living and working situation. Both places have free, unlimited food. It’s generally really high quality too.

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This sounds like my old football days (1g per pound of body weight).

I’ve been using FuelIn (https://www.fuelin.com/) the past few weeks and am really liking it. Just something to consider if you’re wanting prescriptive daily guidance on nutrition and hydration timing.

It’s targeted toward endurance athletes and accounts for your workouts.

I joined during a recent promo…hopefully they will run another one around Thanksgiving…

I saw that promoted after Kona. What is it actually? Is it a better version of MyFitnessPal? Is it worth the $$? What do you get with your subscription? I found the materials online a bit limited as far as info.

It’s essentially a semi-prescriptive nutrition guide customized to the athlete. It’s an app (currently on iOS only) that syncs with TrainingPeaks (knows your planned workouts) and MyFitnessPal (knows what food you’re logging). It provides daily protein/fat/carb/calorie targets and a daily “plan” that considers hydration/snack timing, etc. (You input current weight and goal weight so it knows if you’re wanting to maintain, lose, or gain.)

It breaks days (and individual meals) into lower carb/moderate carb/higher carb categories. It also has a database of meals/recipes that meet each carb category type (low/moderate/high).

You can use it at a less granular level, but what I outlined above is the most detail-oriented way to use it.

I believe the website contains some screenshots of the app, but feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to see screenshots or have other questions.

Yes—I got the deal that was being offered around Kona time. I’ve found it to be worth the money so far (for the discounted rate I’m paying at least). I’m definitely being more mindful of my daily nutrition and am feeling better as a result.

Sidenote—You’d ideally want TrainingPeaks premium so that you can (manually) input the upcoming week’s TR workouts into TP. The FuelIn app will account for those workouts when creating your plan for the upcoming week.


Does it give an ideal “in race” nutrition plan as well, or is it simply overall what and when to eat day-to-day?

If I have access to anything, its not the optimal diet :fork_and_knife: :crazy_face:

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