Sunday, 15 July 2012

Paleo Diet for Wiggins?

History beckons for Bradley Wiggins.  Today he became the first Briton to wear the Yellow Jersey for the seventh day.  There is a great likelihood of him winning the Tour De France. 

The French are suspicious of British economics, British Food and British alcohol, but it seems they have a soft spot for our cyclists.  I wonder what they'd make of his diet?

The Sunday Times today reports that Wiggins has shed several kilograms in preparation for this year's Tour De France (being lighter helps in the moutain stages)! 

Wiggins (6ft 3in), has gone from the 82kg (180lb) he was when he won two golds at the Beijing Olympics, to just under 73kg today.  His training has gone from a 'peak power' emphasis to the 'maximum amount of power he can sustain over time'.

Nigel Mitchell, nutritionist with British Cycling looked to fuel Wiggins training but limited certain foods - as the Sunday Times reports,
  • "With Bradley we looked at the minimum amount of food he needed to do the training and get the recovery, but also looked at the structure of the food he was eating so there was no waste".
So we seem to looking at some form of calorie restriction.  The Sunday Times goes on,
  • "In layman's terms, there were no junk calories, so carbohydrates were restricted and white sugar was out."
Makes you wonder what foods would have constituted 'junk calories' in our evolutionary past. We can guess why we'd choose to engineer food that qualifies as 'junk calories'; profit. What I can't fathom is why anyone would want to eat such fare.

So what was 'in'?
  • "'It's not rocket science.' said Mitchell. 'It's simple stuff'.  On the Tour, Bradley will eat porridge in the morning or rice and an omelette.  On the bike he's taking in 60-90g of carbs per hour in rice cakes, energy gels or sports drinks.  The evening meal is carefully planned so there's protein for recovery and carbs for energy.'

    A rider's calorie intake on the Tour ranges from 4000 to 9000 calories per stage."
This is an approach that looks every bit compliant with The Paleo Diet for Athletes.

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