Energy intake and energy expenditure of elite cyclists during preseason training

Int J Sports Med. 2005 Oct;26(8):701-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2004-830438.


In the last years, the interest in sport nutrition has increased. The purpose of this study was to quantify the nutritional status of eleven cyclists of a professional team (age: 28.7+/-4.2 yr; height: 181.0+/-4.2 cm; weight: 71.0+/-5.2 kg; body fat: 10.2+/-2.4%), during basic pre-season training. The athletes trained on five days (160 km per day) and respected one rest-day (33 km). The food of the cyclists, which was chosen by the riders themselves, was weighed and recorded for six days, the protocols were analysed through the PRODI 4.3 EXPERT database. The daily energy intake which averaged 13.5 MJ (59% carbohydrates, 19% proteins, and 21% fat), was compared to the mean daily consumption of energy (19.1 MJ), which was calculated from the basal metabolic rate and the energy turnover while training (directly measured through the SRM Training system). The daily energy expenditure was 30% higher than the daily energy intake. The analysis of the food diary showed that these experienced riders composed a carbohydrate-rich and low-fat diet by themselves as recommended for high-performance endurance athletes. When compared to nutritional guidelines, the composition of the diet in the present study can be considered as adequate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Diet
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Oxygen Consumption