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CLIF Blog

Aug. 19, 2013
Colorado Kitchen Confidential
Bike racing at the professional level is hard, especially when the race takes place in Colorado, involves seven consecutive stages, thousands of feet of climbing, and never once goes below 5000 feet in elevation. Well, that’s exactly what’s in store for the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling team this week as they tackle the USA Pro Challenge, arguably the biggest race in the country.

So, how does a pro team keep their reserves topped off and ensure that the riders are getting the absolute best nutrition for their bodies each day? Well, we know that the Garmin-Sharp riders eat plenty of Clif and Shot goods while they’re on the bike, but when it comes to their evening meals, they leave nothing to chance, bringing along their mobile team kitchen every step of the way. Chris and Barb Grealish, the team chefs, prepare a varied, organic, and tasty meal every night. But, the meals go way beyond tasting great - they contain many ingredients that are specifically included to nourish bodies that are being put through the ringer daily at an almost indescribable level.



Over the next seven days, we will provide the Garmin team menu daily and do a deep-dive into an ingredient or two from each meal, hopefully delivering some info that any athlete might be able to incorporate into their training, racing and nutritional program. So, let’s start with the team’s Sunday evening pre-race meal:

Grilled meats, sausages, shrimp, and veggies
Kale salad
Green salad
Sweet potatoes
Rice


Most folks know that meat proteins are an essential element for effective muscle recovery, green vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, and rice provides healthy carbohydrate. But, the real sleeper super-food on the menu is the sweet potato. At a basic level, potatoes are a great source of muscle-fueling carbohydrate, right? Yep…but the sweet potato is so much more! It’s also a good source of fiber, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and general gut health – something endurance athletes are always concerned with.

Sweet potatoes are also high in Beta Carotene. The body turns Beta Carotene into Vitamin A, which has anti-inflammatory characteristics and is a key antioxidant in the fight against cell-damaging free radicals – always a worry for riders stressing their bodies at these levels. As if this weren’t enough, sweet potatoes are also a good source of potassium, an essential electrolyte that is needed for efficient muscle contraction and maintaining cell fluid balance. It’s one amazing food! So, do you have a big event or training block coming up? Might be time to get your sweet potato on! Check in tomorrow for more cool food news from the Garmin kitchen!
Posted by:
Eric
Category:
Events, Athlete Life
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About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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