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The Nuts and Berries of Race Nutrition

Live Love Velo team members will now be fueling better on and off our
bikes after today’s nutrition clinic. Our team coach and nutrition
expert Jennifer Gatz shared some of her extensive knowledge with
fifteen LLV team members.

First Jen outlined good everyday eating habits, including foods to
avoid and the best options for optimal health and nutrition. Sugar,
other refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods are the bad
guys. Vegetables are the champions, delivering complex carbohydrates
and loads of vitamins and minerals. The good news for those who shy
away from plates of plain steamed vegetables is that good fats and
oils are essential, and shouldn’t be avoided. Eggs and natural yogurt
also got the tick of approval.

The session moved on to how our energy systems work, and how to avoid
fatigue and the dreaded bonk when training and racing. A key message
was that everyone is different, and during training is the time to
figure out what your needs, balancing fluid, sugars, salt and protein.
Too much can be as disastrous as too little when it comes to eating
and drinking on the go. There are loads of products out there marketed
to athletes, all of them promising optimal performance. But not all
gels and supplements are created equal. Reading labels, understanding
ingredients and keeping a training diary will help refine what works
for you. Race day is not the time to surprise your body with the
latest gel product.

Jen concluded the session talking about recovery, explaining how the
first hour after exercising is critical when it comes to replacing
muscle glycogen stores. And after you’ve eaten, getting enough sleep
will ensure that your body is ready to go for the next workout.
Compression socks can also help, particularly after long or tough
workouts, and are fantastic if you have a long drive home after a

By the end of the clinic there was a real sense in the room that
everyone was thinking about their current riding nutrition and how to
improve it. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing about how changes
to our routines result in riding stronger, and having more fun on our

For more information, check out Jen Gatz’s training and nutrition blog, TRIals and Tribulations.

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