Rice: The new fuel of the Peloton

For decades bike racers have lived on pasta as their primary source of carbohydrates. Over the last decade however, the sport of cycling has paid greater attention to riders’ diet and nutrition. Due to the emergence of measuring wattage outputs, (ie power meters) a rider’s performance and fitness level can me more finely tuned than ever before. Long gone are the days of heart rate monitors and “cardiac drift” , nowadays there is a wattage and it doesn’t lie. So in today’s world of cycling, the greater wattage produced , at less weight means an ideal combination for “Grand Tour” success. So bmi, dieting, and the quest to become “leaner” is a huge focus nowadays. Teams no longer just have “the team chef” but now professional Nutrionists and PHD’s in Sports Physiology accompanying them. Along with this shift in thought, certain doctors now believe and favour eating rice over pasta. The pioneer of this movement is Dr. Allen Lim formerly of Team Garmin-SlipStream. During the Tour de France, he decided to change over to rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, on the road snacks and rice for dinner. It has gained notoriety as “The Garmin Diet.”

Instead of having pasta and bread every night for dinner he asked the chef, to prepare rice. They are giving the riders rice cakes and corn cakes instead of bread. Why? He believes that the high amounts of wheat products that are normally consumed by bike racers at the Tour have an inflammatory effect in the body. He believes that most people have either an overt allergy to wheat products or at least a sub-symptomatic inflammatory response to wheat products. One of the biggest goals is to maintain as low of a state of inflammation as possible.

So, the guys are eating very little wheat products (bread, pasta) and also very little red meat (which also has a pro-inflammatory effect on the body). Most of the meals consist of oats (ie. porridge in the mornings), and in the evenings the guys are eating a lot of rice, chicken, turkey and fish. There is a little bit of variety, but the rule has been rice, oats, chicken, fish and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I just find it funny in that, Michael Rasmussen ate this way for many years before.

I wonder if Bradley who's now on Team Sky has infected the new team with the “The Garmin Diet” ?? From what I see in Michael Barry, he sure looks that way ?

So as the peloton says good bye to Rice, I too say good bye to my days of eating mounds of pasta, and hello to the world of rice.

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