To complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour means you must meet your nutritional needs to achieve maximum returns when tackling the 109km route.
Leanne Tee, Pick n Pay’s resident dietitian, says that no one menu is a perfect fit for all athletes and that you should ensure that your diet is the best possible fuelling strategy for your individual requirements.
“Before you start a race, it is important to remember your breakfast. The best options for a pre-ride meal or snack are carbohydrate foods that are low in fat and fibre as these are most easily digested and less likely to cause stomach problems. Remember that the food you have eaten is only available to your muscles once it has been digested.” Tee advises that a general guide is to allow about 3-4 hours for a big meal or 1-2 hours for a small meal / snack before your ride.
Tee adds, “It is also important to start a ride well hydrated, especially if the conditions are warm and humid. Include 300-600ml water with your pre-ride meal / snack. Make sure you leave enough time for a toilet stop prior to the ride.”
Three top female South African athletes who have participated in many Cape Town Cycle Tours in the past, share their secret ‘recipes’ for race day success:
Anriette Schoeman is a South African professional cyclist and multiple Cape Town Cycle Tour winner, claiming the coveted title four years in a row from 2000 – 2003.
“Not being a big breakfast person, I prefer to enjoy a smoothie after my race instead. With summer in full swing, I find a recovery smoothie extremely refreshing when I’m done with a long, hot ride like the Cape Town Cycle Tour. It not only helps with recovery, but also cools me down.”
The ingredients are very simple and you should already have most of it in your kitchen:
- 1 serving vanilla whey protein (I prefer the USN LEAN-8 protein because it contains fast and slow protein and tastes incredible!)
- 1x cup of ice
- 1x medium banana
- 1x teaspoon of instant coffee (you can add another spoon if you enjoy coffee flavour)
- 1x 125ml tub of natural fat free yogurt
- 1x teaspoon of stevia or brown sugar (optional)
“Blend everything together for a minute and voila, you have a heavenly refreshing recovery smoothie!”
Zanele Tshoko is part of Pick n Pay’s development riding team, Velokhaya, and began cycling in 2005 with her school’s safe cycling programme – and she hasn’t stopped since!
“For breakfast on a big race day I like to make oats because it is a quick dish to whip together, and gives me enough energy to get through any challenge – especially one like the tough 109km Cycle Tour route!”
- 3x cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2x cups of instant oats
- Boil the water with salt using a medium saucepan
- Once the water has come to the boil, add the two cups of oats and stir it constantly for about 5 – 7 minutes
- Reduce the heat to low so that it doesn’t burn, and let simmer for another 5 minutes while stirring it occasionally
- Once the oats are cooked, place it in a serving bowl and it’s ready to eat.
“I prefer my oats slightly sweeter, so I always add some extra sugar or golden syrup to give it some delicious flavour. I often add some full cream long-life milk to cool the oats down before eating it.”
Team RECM’s Ariane Kleinhans is one of the top female cyclists in South Africa, and is a master at climbing and stage racing.
“Before an early morning race which obviously starts quite hard, I need a breakfast that is rich in carbohydrates and that digests easily, but that will still give me sustainable energy to do my best in the race.”
Ariane’s winning race day recipe is a bowl of cooked oats. “This works really well for me and helps me do my best to get through any gruelling course.”
Simply boil about 60g of oats in a 300ml mix of milk and water for approximately 10 – 12 minutes for a quick-and-easy, energy boosting breakfast.
“To make things more tasty and rich in nutrients, I add a number of extra ingredients so that I change things up and don’t get bored of eating the same meal every time.”
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A handful of raisins or a banana
- A teaspoon of honey
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
- Half a teaspoon of cocoa powder
- A hint of grounded cloves
- A few nuts or a spoon of peanut butter