Nutritional plan cycling athlete

Seminar Paper, 2018

38 Pages, Grade: 2



1. Personal information:
Personal details
Social details
Medical details
Assistance requested:
Athlete´s ideas and questions:
Nutrition based complaints:

2. Exercise history
Summary and intensity of sport and frequency:
Sports energy systems described:

3. Nutritional history

4. Nutritional analysis and diagnosis
Absolute and relative nutrition analysis:
Timing of most relevant nutrients has been reviewed in depth:
Diagnosis proposed regarding the clients points of concern:

5. Nutritional plan

6. Appendix

7. References

1. Personal information:

Personal details

Age: 32-year

Gender: male

Sports: road-cyclist

Weight: 67,5 kg

Height. 1,83m

This is a BMI of 20,2 which is a normal value (WHO, n.d.).

Social details

The athlete lives in his own flat with girlfriend and has one older sister. He works as an employee – with flexible working hours from ~7-8 until 16-18 o´clock most of the time - in an office and spends most time sitting.

Medical details

The athlete has a diagnosed lactose intolerance since his late childhood, so he avoids lactose intake since this mainly. He is rarely sick and takes no medication and has no previous and present injuries. The athlete takes “Sunday Natural Vitamin B12” Cobalamin 10µg ~ times a week to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.


In bioelectrical analysis (BIA) a small alternating current flow faster through fat-free body (more hydrated) mass and extracellular water than through fat mass or bone tissues. The relationships of resistance, volume and current can evaluate the body water volume, the fat-free mass (FFM) and the percentage of body fat (McArdle, Katch & Katch, 2010, p. 748-750).

Pros and cons of the method:

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2Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010, p. 750

Taking the pros and cons in consideration, a whole-body BIA measurement (four measuring points) instead of only the lower part of body was used. Because I have no experience with using a caliper I used the BIA scale, in which I have experience, for a relatively reliable result. Another reason why I choose this method is that it provides an easy administered and valid tool to assess body composition (Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010, p. 750).

Following results were measured in the morning, after a toilette visit, without clothes at a room temperature of 22 degrees:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Appendix 1)


To measure aerobic capacity the cooper test was used, after a 15-minute warm-up the athlete ran 2970 meters on a running track (Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010, p. 234). The time was measured with a sports watch and to make sure that the distance is right, it was controlled with a garmin sport watch and the sum of the rounds. The temperature was 11 degrees, which may have a small impact on the performance. After the run a cool-down run and stretching was done. According to the table of Jonath & Krempel, the athlete´s performance was very good (1981). Estimate energy expenditure (Appendix 2): 278 watts.

I know that the Astrand-Rhyming cycle ergometer test would be more suitable for cycling athletes, but he has no equipment at home to measure watt and he is no member of a sports club to make the test there. Another reason is that the equipment is expensive and the cooper test is an easy and cheap method to estimate EE.

Assistance requested:

The athlete wants to make sure that he gets the right amount of carbohydrates during trainings (>1 ½ h) that he can perform better and avoid signs of fatigue. He has set the personal goal to participate at the “everesting challenge” in summer 2018 (everesting, n.d.).

To measure the effect of CHO-intake during training, fatigue can be measured and compared in a training with CHO and without CHO use with the RPE Borg scale.

Athlete´s ideas and questions:

Due to his busy job in an office the timing of the meals can be challenging, so he wants to adopt more regular eating habits, especially lunch. The athlete has no further ideas and questions.

Nutrition based complaints:

The athlete is consuming only plant based food for one year, protein powder from sunflower seeds has a flatulence effect on the athlete´s GI tract, he is experiencing other protein powders to avoid this effect (maybe hemp protein powder is a solution). A big amount - 200g and more - of the same type of beans causes GI discomfort, but less or a mix of beans is well tolerated (lentils are also well tolerated). Fresh onion, garlic and dark bread with sourdough also cause flatulence, old bread is well tolerated.

Client´s phase of behaviour change:

According to the transtheoretical model the athlete is in the phase of preparation of behaviour change (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). He has already started to inform himself about CHO intake before and during sports and is ready to take action in the next time.

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Image 1: Transtheoretical model of change

Prochaska, J. O., DiClemente, C. C., & Norcross, J. C. (1992). In search of how people change: Applications to addictive behaviors. American Psychologist, 47 (9), 1102-1114.

2. Exercise history

Road cycling is a prolonged physical activity which demands >95% on aerobic, 4% anaerobic glycolytic and <1% on alactic power systems in moderate trained subjects (Jeukendrup, Craig & Hawley, 2000, 414-333).

Summary and intensity of sport and frequency:

This training schedule is made every week (~7hours), during autumn, winter and the beginning of spring, then the athlete trains outdoor.

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Heart rate was measured with a Garmin Forerunner 920XT and a breast belt. The validity of HR measurements during running and walking has 2,89% (3 bpm) error values and about 0.30%-0.74% according distance (Claes, Buys, Avila, Finlay, Kennedy, Guldenring, Budts & Cornelissen, 2017).

The athlete is training every second day at the same intensity, he was asked to describe exercise intensity on the RPE BORG scale, his perceived exertion is always between 14-15 (Appendix 3). At this intensity, he reaches the ergometers maximal capacity for a short time. Due to the description of the ergometer it´s maximal resistance is ~220watts, but no data can be found if this is reliable.

Sports energy systems described:

The BMR of 1607 kcal was calculated with the new FFM based Cunningham formula, this method is an accurate equation for enduration athletes and can be used for sport nutritional advices (Ten Haaf & Peter Weijs, 2014). The FFM was calculated (Appendix 1) and body fat % was measured with the BIA scale, there can be some small deviations according to the value of measurement.

TEF was calculated with 10% because it´s the most common value in humans according to Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch (2010).

Including PAL and TEF the calculated TEE is: 2329kcal (Appendix 4)

Moderate to heavy exercise:

A RPE BORG value of 14-15 is associated with somewhat hard (61-85% of MHR) to hard exercise (85-90% of MHR) (Nortonac, Nortona & Sadgroveb, 2010; Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 210, p. 747).

The compendium of MET values was used to estimate EE during somewhat hard- hard exercise (Ainsworth, Haskell, Leon, Jacobs, Montoye, Sallis & Paffenbarger, 1993).

Heavy or hard exercise is described as conditioning stationary bicycling exercise at 161-200 watts, the MET value is 11. 11 MET: 756 kcal/1h (Appendix 5)

Total energy expenditure on training days with different duration:

Training day with 1h= 2988kcal

Training day with 2h= 3647kcal

Relative and absolute substrate use:

Relative substrate use:

At ~75% exercise intensity following fuels are used:

- 50-60% of the total energy comes from muscle glycogen
- 15% plasma glucose
- 25% plasma FFA and another fat source (Astrand, Rodahl & Dahl, 2003) (Appendix 6).

It can be that the athlete burns more fat instead of muscle glycogen at lower intensities than 75%.

Absolute substrate use:

At 75% exercise intensity following fuels are used during 1h cycling:

- 378-454 (~100g) kcal from muscle glycogen
- 113 kcal (30g) from plasma glucose
- 189 kcal (21g) from FFA and other fat sources (Astrand, Rodahl & Dahl, 2003) (Appendix 6).

3. Nutritional history

To analyze the athlete´s nutrition history a food diary (Appendix 7) was used, it is a prospective method accumulating data about consumed foods, beverages and supplements over one week. I will mainly analyze macronutrient intake- especially CHO intake- because he wants to decrease fatigue during training to increase his performance. Data can be used to compute current diet of athlete and show inadequate intakes of nutrients according to his vegan diet like protein.

The method was used because practical knowledge is available and it´s the best method to analyze nutritional history (Basiotis et al., 1987), following pros and cons must be considered:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1Ortega, Perez-Rodrigo & Lopez-Sobaler, 2015)

To avoid inaccuracies through under- or overestimation, athletes were advised to weight portions with a scale if possible. A four-day register was used to record food intake because the athlete is very busy now and the results may be more accurate because he doesn´t try to eat healthier or fake the results according to the high burden. I have also more experience using 3-4 day registers.

4. Nutritional analysis and diagnosis

Absolute and relative nutrition analysis:

General quantitative analysis

The food intake according to the diary was calculated with MyFitnessPal because the app offers a variety of food choices, different amounts and different brands. To control the results most of the values where compared with the tables of food composition in Whitney & Rolfes (2010). Maintenance, calorie awareness, and food variety of the app were graded very good by users (PR newswire, 2013) which says less about the reliability of the app. Experience with using the app was given by the athlete and myself. Detailed daily intake is in Appendix8.

Macronutrient intake, calculation of g/kg BW, distribution of %kcal total and norm values of each day:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010

2Potgieter, 2013

3Cox, 2000, S. 656-671; ADA, DC & ACSM, 2009, S. 510

4Pramuková, Szabadosová, & Šoltésová, 2011

Training day

Resting day


CHO: the athlete reached ~50% of the recommendations on training days, on resting days his intake was adequate.

Protein: in average, he meets the recommendations for intake.

Fat: his intake is in general lower than the recommendations, only on one day the fat intake was significantly higher than usually.

On all the 4 days he was in a negative energy balance, on 2 days he had ~1200kcal to less compared with the calculated TEE.


CHO: athletes who train at moderate levels of intense training 2h per day for ~4 times a week need 6g/kg/day, because he trains every time at the same level the amount is the same (Pramuková, Szabadosová, & Šoltésová, 2011).

Protein: 1,2g/kg BW/day are recommended because he is a cycling athlete who doesn´t has to deal with muscle soreness like in running sports (Cox, 2000, S. 656-671; ADA, DC & ACSM, 2009, S. 510).

Fat: 1g/kg BW/day is the norm value for daily intake for active persons up to ~10h moderate physical activity per week (Potgieter, 2013).

General qualitative analysis

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1Australian dietary guidelines, 2013) (Appendix 9)

Analysis compared with recommendation:

- He eats mainly whole grain and fiber rich food, like advised in recommendations, but on 2 days 1-2 servings are missing
- Milk products or alternatives: only on one day he reached the recommendations, on two other days his diet only contained 1 serve and on one day none- so this is to less
- Fruit: most of the days he reaches 2-3 recommended serves a day, only one day out of 4 lacked in fruit intake
- Vegetables: he significantly overreached the norm-serves every day
- His coffee consumption per day is, with up to 1 liter, to high. More other fluids like unsweetened tee, water should be consumed.

Overall, he consumed to less protein, the protein sources are often the same, he should eat a bigger variety of vegan protein sources like beans, lentils, avocado, soy products. To less fluids were drunk on 50% of the days, his CHO intake can be optimized, the sources of CHO are good, but the amount is not adequate. His fat sources are a good choice, they are mainly unsaturated and in adequate amounts (Australian dietary guidelines, 2013; Appendix 9).

Timing of most relevant nutrients has been reviewed in depth:

2-3 hours before exercise the last meal should be done with a snack consisting of high glycemic CHO and low in fiber, protein and fat. In exercise duration from 60-90min a CHO intake of 30g/h is advised (AIS commission, 2009). After exercise 1g/kg BW (68g) and ~20g protein should be consumed within the first hour and after one hour the same amount again (Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010; Australian Sports Commission, 2009).

Quantitative and qualitative analysis

Due to the busy office job the athlete, eats just a snack at lunch time in his office, he leaves the place often at around 17-18 o´clock. Then he absolves his training and afterwards he cooks dinner, the main meal of his day. Two training days with different durations from 1-2 hours were chosen. Related to the request the CHO intake was analyzed:

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1Armstrong, Johnson, Kunces, Ganio, Judelson, Kupchak & Moyen, 2014, 624-631;

2Australian Sports Commission, 2009

3Mc Ardle, Katch & Katch, 2010

Summarizing the table above you can see that he didn´t eat CHO 2-3 hours before exercise on none of the two days. The same during exercise, he just consumed some water if he felt thirsty. He failed to meet the recommended CHO intakes before and during exercise to 100%. After exercise, he consumed about the double amount of CHO and on one days also from protein, but this was 1-2 hours afterwards so the higher amounts are justified. The CHO sources are whole grain food or vegetables, he consumes a large amount of vegetables but they are not a good CHO source. According to the recommendation a high-quality protein source should be consumed after exercise, but his protein sources lack in quality, improvement can be done. I just focused on one meal after exercise because he didn´t consumed food afterwards, although the recommendation is repeat 1g/kg BW CHO and ~20g protein intake 1h after exercise (Australian Sports Commission, 2009).

Diagnosis proposed regarding the clients points of concern:

The 32-year old male vegan, endurance trained athlete, which has a body fat % of ~15, has a BMR of 1607kcal and a TEE of 2329kcal. He is training 4 days a week at somewhat hard to hard intensity on an ergometer, on these days his TEE is between 2988- 3647kcal. The food diaries show that the he consumes 3 meals a day, with no snacks in between. Lunch is taken at the workplace and seems to be a neglected meal, consisting most times out of fruit and nuts. The biggest meal is dinner and is taken at about 18-19 o´clock which is relatively late, due to the fact, that the breakfast contains to 75% approximately 500-800kcal and the lunch ~200-600kcal. Breakfast and dinner mainly consist of vegetables and whole-grain products, which may lead to a lack of protein. The dinner is the biggest meal of his day, it contains in average about ~900kcal. The macronutrient distribution is in average ~58% from CHO, ~14% protein and ~27% fat from total kcal intake which is in the norm value, but the energy intake is often too low.


Provide adequate energy, especially CHO intake related to the guidelines with the focus on before and during exercise to avoid fatigue to 100% and increase endurance performance within the next 6 months.

5. Nutritional plan

Advice for energy and macronutrients is properly substantiated

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Kcal: the athlete doesn´t want to gain weight, according to his actual energy intake he is in weight balance also with a lower energy intake on some days. It is possible that the calculation is not optimal for the athlete or he was underreporting his intake. That’s why the TDEE calculations on the table in brackets are decreased by ~300kcal daily.

CHO: athletes, which train at moderate levels of intense training 2h per day for ~4 times a week need 6g/kg/day, because he trains every time at the same level, the amount is the nearly the same on days with different duration (Pramuková, Szabadosová, & Šoltésová, 2011). For training days with 2h extra 30g/h CHO are recommended to avoid fatigue (Burke, 2011). On resting days, the intake of the athlete was higher than the norm (5g), that’s the reason why the recommendation is 3,5g/kg BW (Lanham-New, Stear, Shirreffs & Colins, 2011).

Protein: the ASCM recommends 1,2g-1,7/kg BW/day for endurance athletes, 1,2g were chosen because he is a cycling athlete who doesn´t has to deal with muscle soreness like in running sports and he trains every second day with a resting day in between to recover (Cox, 2000, S. 656-671; ADA, DC & ACSM, 2009, S. 510).

Fat: 1g/kg BW/day is the norm value for daily intake for active persons up to ~10h moderate physical activity per week (Potgieter, 2013), 0,8-1,0g are advised because the athletes seems to eat less fat and the adoption to more fat should not overwhelm the GI tract.

The most important nutrients are carbohydrates, because an adequate intake can avoid fatigue during prolonged trainings (Lanham-New, Stear, Shirreffs & Colins, 2011).

The athlete takes “Sunday Natural Vitamin B12” Cobalamin 10µg 1x/week, my advice is to choose a supplement which is lower in dose 5µg and take it 2x/week or/and choose enriched products like plant milk or cereals. A doctor should measure the holo transcobalamine status (Callen, 2003).

The athlete is influenced by:

- Circumstances at workplace like lack of time and stress, which can make the timing of breaks difficult or shorter than usually
- Social responsibilities: spending time with friends, family in leisure time which can delay time of the dinner
- Vegan lifestyle can make choice of food more difficult
- He has cooking skills and don´t want to buy convenience products
- He has no financial problems


Excerpt out of 38 pages


Nutritional plan cycling athlete
HAN University of Applied Sciences
Sports and nutrition
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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nutritional plan, athlete nutrition, cycling nutrition, road cycling, physiological analysis of cycling
Quote paper
Carina Weißenbacher (Author), 2018, Nutritional plan cycling athlete, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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