While reading Paul's newest post on endurance exercise and cancer, someone in the comments posted the dietary menu of elite cyclists from the Tour de France (here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=stein/090701). An elite cyclist's diet seems to contain a lot of crap and generally unhealthy food, so I got to wondering how someone could consume an astronomical amount of calories while following a high-fat "paleoish" type diet. It seems easy to do when you eat a ton of simple sugars and liquid calories, but I am guessing it would be very difficult to consume the amount of fat/protein needed to reach 9000 calories while eating paleo. If you were an elite-cyclist how would you reach the aforementioned amount of calories? Is it realistic to do so, evolutionary speaking are we built for such an extreme amount of calories?
I would listen to my body. If I needed more food, I would eat it. Eating obscene amounts of calories just to do it does not make sense to me. Of course, my digestion isn't the best, and I am lucky to digest days where calories might reach 3,500 or so (guesstimating as I do not track calories at all).
How do you know we would need so many calories if we're not just eating a bunch of crap? Maybe if you eat good food (paleo etc), you can be an elite cyclist without eating such a crazy amount of food. I know avoiding junk food has allowed me to eat like 1/4 as much as I used to, even though I do more exercise than back then.
One would hope that it wouldn't be difficult to eat 9000 calories if we actually needed 9000 calories. I can't imagine a situation where we just keep getting thinner and thinner, to the point of starvation, because it's too difficult to consume extra calories- would be a great evolutionary mishap! I appreciate that athletes want to get in as many calories as they're expending in the name of keeping up performance, but if you just need 6000 extra sheer calories, from expending all (actually, less than 2 pounds of) your body fat, then I can't imagine that short term maintenance of calorie intake would be so necessary. So long as you're not losing an undue amount of bodyfat over the course of a few days, I can't imagine that maintaining body fat levels over the course of each single day is important. Of course, if you need carbs for glycogen it's a different story, but eating sweet potatos is easy enough.
Also the amount of protein shouldn't be too much. So it's not as though you'd need to consume 25% of 9000 calories (2250kcal/562g) of protein. You'd still, as an endurance, low carb athlete, still only need 1.2 – 1.7 g/kg of protein and then as much fat as you'd burnt. Personally, I find eating huge amounts of plain fat (cream normally) to be completely easy, I've never felt that I couldn't eat infinite amounts of it, if I wanted. I assume that by the time you actually started to lose dangerous amounts of fat it would be all the easier.
I was eating upwards of 6000 a day of Meat, Fat and Veg.
I was forcing myself to eat one of my 3 meals a day.
9000 would be very difficult without going to olive oil, or some other type of liquid food, and I honestly think it would have to be something someone would have to train for to get that much food in.
Unless I was wandering through some horrible environmental extreme,there isn't any way that, at 5'3,I would require 9,000 calories.Can it be done?Sit and watch people eat at a buffet sometime..4 1600 calories plates,5 soda refills at 300 calories a piece,plus a 500 calorie dessert=8,400 calories.In one meal.:/
I can't answer "as a cyclist" but yes it is possible to hit 9000 cals/day on strict paleo. No it's proly not something we've evolved doing but I wouldn't concern myself with that. Anything confit will get you big cals easy. Or braise short ribs and brisket and wolf that down, easy way. Whole roast chicken, dipping each piece in liquid coconut oil while eating many many sweet potatoes slathered in coconut oil. Bunch of avocados alongside. You could hit 9000 I'd bet.
With most of our food being unprocessed and so higher in fiber than most SAD food it might be tougher on the digestion though.
If you add dairy in the mix you'd get some easy calories. GOMAD style or just heavy cream.
well, speaking strictly about cyclists i think it could be done. The main reason I think so is because these guys eat all day long on their bikes. It's considered a very rookie mistake to forget to eat while riding (and hit "the wall") and they are even reminded to eat before they're hungry by their team directors etc over the radios.
So in a Grand Tour (one of three major 3 week races) the average stage length is more or less between 100-150 miles every day (excepting a few time trials) and the average speed is maybe near 24 mph so they're on their bikes for about 4-6 hours every day, and they're noshing away. They eat sandwiches, baked potatoes, gels, drink flat cokes, eat ham etc... so i don't see why a rider couldn't eat a pemmican bar or a few legs of duck confit. Add to that a major breakfast and a major major dinner, I think you could do it.
But mostly, I'd like to think it's possible because I've recently discovered one of my favorite riders, Dave Zabriskie, went vegan. Best of luck to him anyways. But if a vegan can do it, surely a paleo could.
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