The Application of carbohydrate periodisation throughout a cycling Grand Tour
Weighed food records, on-bike exercise energy expenditure and morning body mass were collected across 20 stages of the 2021 Vuelta a España. Using a distributed nutrition support system, we provided feedback after each stage about carbohydrate consumption and provided bespoke CHO recommendations for recovery.
Mean absolute daily CHO intake (range) and relative CHO intake (range) were 812 ± 215 g (340 - 1118 g) and 12.2 ± 3.2 g·kg-1 (5.1 - 17.7 g·kg-1) respectively. The highest CHO intake (absolute; range) occurred during dinner (197 ± 76; 3.0 ± 1.1 g·kg-1) with lower amounts at breakfast (124 ± 24 g; 1.9 ± 0.4 g·kg-1).
Mean on-bike CHO intake was 69 ± 18 g·h-1 (range 41 - 106 g·h-1), with whole foods contributing the majority (37%) of on bike CHO.Here we demonstrate novel periodisation of CHO in take in accordance with the physical workload of each stage. These results highlight the need for greater resolution in CHO recommendations given the unique energy demands ofeach stage.