Welcome to Sportnutrix,

Sportnutrix Nutrition Site
Clinical Sport Nutrition and Cycling

It is about a year that we met in Colorado Springs and talked about the sport of cycling. Clinical sport nutrition and cycling. Performance, weight, psychology, medicine and nutrition. Different disciplines together looking at the issue of weight and unhealthy eating in cycling. I have seen some unhealthy eating in cycling, yes, and at some point I decided I need and want to do something about it. Cyclists spoke to me about it. They have seen mates who struggle, they have been struggling themselves, yet there was nobody who would listen or see the problem. Every cyclist with an eating disorder (ED) or disordered eating (DE) is one cyclist too much. Male or female – it does not matter. Interestingly, there are still many who think male cyclists do not suffer from ED/ED, that is a female thing. No! Male cyclists have problems too. The goal is to be light, have good power in the legs, i.e. a great power-to-weight ratio. A central aim that motivates young and old cyclists to lose weight. Sometimes in a healthy way, unfortunately, often in an unhealthy manner.

During our meeting it soon became clear that the problem is not that simple. Many people and parties are involved in cycling. Different expectations, different consequences. Fears, goals, dreams. The latter often at all costs.

A big first step, I think, is to accept that some of the best cyclists do have ED/DE. We need to stop this attitude of denial and accept that even the best athletes can have a problem. People in the sport need to understand that ED/DE is more than just skipping carbs. It is more than telling an athlete to eat a few more carbs. The problem is not that simple. However, if people do not acknowledge the problem, it is hard to work on the solution. Quite often I think: if people only knew better! Knew better to read and understand the symptoms and also what causes the problem. If the triggers and symptoms were known, we could help sooner and protect our athletes. Prevention! The main goal shall not be to help athletes when they struggle already. The ultimate goal must be to prevent the problem, guide and support our athletes so they do not get into trouble. It is hard to recover from an ED. Many people never fully recover. Nobody addresses the consequences. Of course, the consequences may come only later in life, when the cycling career is over and there is no team around them supporting them. Athletes, then, will have to fight this battle alone. No one deserves this battle.

A year after our first Clinical sport nutrition and cycling session, I am more than ever convinced that cyclists are looking and hoping for help. Help to manage their body weight, help to avoid serious (health) consequences and still perform and win. In the end, in sports it is about winning and success. Nevertheless teams need to understand the complexity of the ED/DE problem. They can be a key player in the prevention, albeit ED/DE prevention is not their main duty. But as a team we are always stronger than alone.

A lot of work ahead. A lot of ideas in mind. I am still passionate about cycling and I still love the work with cyclists and love supporting them. My goal is clear.