P.A.S.S Assignment – Tour de France
The Tour de France is one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. Bicycle riders from around the world strive to complete this notorious ride each year. If a rider is to have any chance of accomplishing such a physically demanding ride the preparation they must undertake involves a lot more than you think. Not only do they have to be physically prepared but also mentally, the Tour de France will only be won by a rider who has properly prepared themselves for the challenge. There are many factors involved in achieving such great performance, factors like; Psychological Strategies, Drug Use and Technological Advances. But the factor I find most important, and have chosen to investigate is the Nutritional Considerations of a Tour de France rider. Nutritional considerations are vital if a rider is to successfully compete and complete the Tour de France. Considerations like a balanced diet, carbohydrate loading, supplementation and a rider’s fluid intake will determine whether or not they have what it takes. Without attending to these vital aspects of the race a rider will find themselves lacking the energy they require, burning extreme amounts of carbohydrates without replenishing them, failing to properly recover off their bike during rides and evidently not perform to a high standard. Carbohydrate loading is a strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can maximize muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. This technique use to involve two separate phases, the ‘depletion phase’ ran over 3-4 days before being followed by the ‘loading phase’ which also took 3-4 days. But, due to ongoing research the ‘depletion phase’ is no longer required. Nowadays 1-4 days of tampered exercise and a high carbohydrate diet is all that is necessary to elevate muscle glycogen to sufficient levels. Failure to carbohydrate load will mean that an athlete will have less energy stored in their body...
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