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Caffeine & calories: Pre race fuelling ritual from a pro


A lot of people ask Ed Laverack about his pre-race fuelling rituals and caffeine timing. After his awesome performance at the Chorley GP, we caught up with the JLT Condor & #TEAMTRUESTART pro cyclist to find out exactly what he did before the race and get his take on caffeine consumption and nutrition timing. Over to you, Ed...

Caffeine and Calories - two of the most natural and important supplements for human performance. Yet so many athletes fail to use either to their advantage. 

As a professional cyclist I pride myself on my ability to feed the hungry machine with the correct fuel to win. It’s actually not as hard as it sounds, and hopefully I will be able to make things a little clearer by sharing my pre race fuelling rituals and caffeine timing from last weekend’s Chorley Grand Prix with you.


Without going in to too much detail, Carbohydrate will be your friend at least once during your hard training session or race. On Saturday morning, 4hrs before the race, I enjoyed a white bagel topped with a 2 egg omelette, 2 slices of ham and half an avocado. This was followed  by my own mix of 50g muesli, 50g of oats and 40g of Kellogg’s Special K (it was the only thing left in the cupboard!). This 1000 calorie breakfast was all washed down with a pint of water.


The eagle-eyed amongst you will have already realised the absence of caffeine from my morning consumptions. I am not a big coffee drinker! How strange, Cyclists and coffee usually live in perfect harmony! I drink coffee and consume caffeine purely for performance benefits, and boy does it give me a kick. A quick Google search tells me that the average person drinks 3 cups of coffee a day. I know for a fact that some well trained athletes still struggle to get out the door on 2! 

Once at the race HQ I quickly get my number pinning and toilet duties out of the way so we can focus on the job in hand. Around 30min before the start, kitted up and ready to roll, I mix 2 x 95mg scoops of TrueStart Coffee with cold water. I always feel like it hits me better when its cold. For the record, I weigh 61kg. I also consume a Mars bar at the same time.

My theory is that the fat burning, performance benefits of the coffee are balanced with the sugar hit of the Mars bar. This has been my go to ritual ever since I began ‘self-experimenting’ with my nutrition at the end of last year, and it definitely works for me!

It is important to note, the benefits I have seen by using the above strategy have only been attained on a low to moderate carbohydrate diet. My body uses the caffeine and chocolate in a completely different way compared to being on a high carbohydrate diet. This is something that personally works for me, however please seek professional advice before making caloric restrictions or diet changes.

Thanks Ed, awesome insight into your pre-race ritual. Any excuse to drink cold TrueStart Coffee and a Mars bar - what a combo! 

Ed Laverack comes 3rd @ Chorley GP. Team JLT Condor dominate, Bibby Wins!

Click here to check it out on STRAVA 

Click here to follow Ed on Twitter

Picture by Trevor Mould (@MouldyPIX)

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