We have the third answer in our series of your questions we asked Nigel Mitchell, Performance Nutritionist for Cannondale Drapac Pro Cycling Team
How do you tackling nutrition on the rest day of a stage race?
“A lot of it on a rest day depends on the individual and how fatigued they are. The whole idea of a rest day is to not necessarily just boost back up the glycogen stores, even though that will happen, but just by normal eating. People do not need to over eat on a rest day, just have normal sized portions. The very fact you are not riding as much on the rest day, means you tend to eat less, reason being you are not eating on the bike. The breakfast or pre ride meal (Yes, the pros still usually ride on a rest day) will probably be a bit smaller and lunch a bit smaller.
So what I tend to do when working with the pros on rest days is reduce the portions, roughly by about a quarter. And the reason for this is some people can super compensate. What this is is the body gets used to this high metabolic turnover that when they are on a rest day, they can gain up to 2-3kg, with extra glycogen and fluid, and this can affect how they feel the day after. A lot of people when they are on a training camp and training hard can have that phenomenon, so the advice I tend to give on rest days is focus on the quality, reduce the quantity and from a carbohydrate point of view, go for more low GI types of food like porridge for breakfast, sweet potato for lunch and quinoa or rice for dinner.”
Posted in: General, Nutrition Advice, OTE Fuelled Athletes