How Many Calories a Pro Cyclist Needs

Pro cyclists need to consume almost three times the number of calories when racing or training as the average person—about 6000-7000 calories per day.

Riders eat a Skratch Labs breakfast at the Tour of California

Pro cyclists can burn up to 10-15 calories per minute during a hard training session or race. Since many races last up to 5-6 hours, the pros can burn 3000 to 5500 calories on the bike each day, not to mention the energy required for normal metabolism, recovery, and during sleep.

Be skeptical of meat-based diets marketed to athletes. Pro cyclists eat a lot of carbohydrates (60 to 70% of their daily calories) in the form of rice, potatoes, bread, pasta, fruits, vegetables, and simple sugars. The rest of their calories come from proteins (10-15%) like eggs, chicken, fish, and some red meats with the remaining calories coming from fats (15-20%).

60-70% of a pro cyclist’s daily calories come from carbohydrates. Of those carb-based calories, nearly half come from the simple sugars in their sports hydration drinks. In other words, drinking the right sports drink for you matters a lot.

Like anyone else, pro cyclists need fat as part of a healthy diet. Believe it or not, Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby ice cream isn’t a bad treat for a pro cyclist on race day. At 1360 calories and 80 grams of fat, one pint would be about 20% of the daily calories a racing rider would need in a day.

In the Feed Zone, the menu has changed and no one can argue with the results: real food is better. Real food tastes better, digests quickly, and helps you perform at your best.

FZC The Feed Zone Cookbook cover photoFeed zone Portables FZP 96dpi_400pw_strThe Feed Zone Cookbook includes 150 everyday recipes for athletes. Each breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to prepare.

Feed Zone Portables, offers portable performance snacks made of real food. Try out 75 all-new rice cakes, two-bite pies, waffles, and other tasty snacks.

Try these cookbooks today! Find The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables in your local bookstore; bike, tri, or running shop; or from these online retailers:

The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables are published by VeloPress, the leading publisher of books on cycling, triathlon, and running. Please see more VeloPress nutrition books at velopress.com/category/nutrition-and-diet

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