Norwegian journalist Nicolay Ramm has attempted to eat a Tour de France cyclists diet and failed – spectacularly!
The Grand Tours are arguably amongst the most physically demanding sports on the planet. The incredible amount of energy the competitors use each day must be replaced with an incredible amount of energy rich food.
Racing cyclists consume a staggering 8290 calories a day, on average – more than twice the amount recommended for an average 16 – 18 year-old male (3000 calories) and almost three times as much as an average 19 – 50 year-old man (2750 calories).
So what happens when an average guy tries to eat like a Tour de France cyclist?
It’s not pretty.
Ramm did his homework. He talked to one of the chefs on a Tour de France team.
A full bowl of oatmeal, an egg omelette, 3 ham and cheese sandwiches, a 500ml smoothie, a cup of coffee, 100 grams of pasta, a tub of yoghurt and one glass of orange juice.
By the time Ramm got to his coffee he was already doubled over and groaning.
He managed the coffee and then began on the milkshake … before nearly retching it all back up.
Now it was snack time:
1 banana, 1 apple, a handful of nuts and 2 energy bars, a bottle of water and more coffee.
Ramm was looking green. He really had to struggle to finish off the coffee.
Now it was the ‘in-between’ food, the sort of stuff cyclists eat while competing!
2 croissants with jam and ham, 2 cans of coke, gallons of sports drink and water, 7 energy bars and 2 energy gels.
Ramm was 4 hours and 7 minutes into his ‘culinary tour de force’ and his stomach was beginning to rebel. Out came the sick-bucket, but, to his creditm Ramm manfully fought it back down again.
“It’s okay … barely,” he groaned as another jam and salami croissant was pushed in front of him.
Then, “I can’t take it anymore!”
But with lunchtime only a few minutes away Ramm’s stomach had had enough. Back it all came and Ramm was disqualified.
After purging himself Ramm looked at the meatloaf for lunch and gave up.
His calorie intake for 5 hours and 3 minutes had been a measly 4300! What he’d eaten had been barely enough to get him through the early stages of an easy day in the Tour