How much do pro cyclists eat during the Tour de France

By Jennifer Sage On July 20, 2011 Under General Advice

People are always asking how many calories a pro cyclists burns in a Tour stage and how many calories they need to eat in order to replace that energy. I’ve got a couple of sources for the answer to those questions.

Andy Schleck tweeted this photo yesterday after the stage. Their team chef had put into one pile everything that one rider consumes in one day – amazing! Hmmm, I think it would take an entire day of pretty high intensity Spinning┬« or Indoor Cycling classes to be able to put out and consume that kind of energy!

can you eat this after Spinning class?

I also found this blog written by pro rider Michael Barry on what a Tour rider puts into his stomach. A few of the stats given by Barry:

  • while racing they try to eat 300 calories an hour in energy bars, sandwiches, tarts or gels
  • A 160lb rider will consume about 4,000 calories during an average 180km stage (4.5 hours. You know some are quite a bit longer so do the math)
  • on hard mountain stage, a rider will burn more than 6,000 calories in the race alone, bringing to 10,000 the total for the day

You can imagine what a chore it is just to manage the consumption part of their day!

And finally, this article in the Toronto Globe and Mail sent in by an ICA member gives a good graphic on how much a rider must consume.

One gets a stomach ache just thinking about it!



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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kala
    July 20, 2011
    1:00 pm #comment-1

    WOW! All that food for one person?!?! I agree, my stomach hurts just looking at it!

  2. Moritz
    July 20, 2011
    6:30 pm #comment-2

    Yet the infusion (intravenous drip) is missing …

  3. Tim
    March 6, 2013
    5:26 am #comment-3

    I’ve been riding 450km a week and going to the gym 5 days a week on top of that. The amount of food I eat is phenomenal, but if i were to put it on a table this actually makes some kind of sense. Regardless, this is a phenomenal amount of food.

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