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Tour de France: Calorie Consumption


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There have been numerous mentions of calorie consumption in the order of 8000 kcal per day by Tour riders; even 12000 kcal was mentioned last night. Is this correct? I have done Baviaans and Sani2c Nonstop, and my maximum calorie consumption has never exceeded 6500 kcal. And that's for a 12-hour plus ride. And I have a very high heart rate.

 

Any comments? Are these guys exaggerating for the benefit of TV, or are they correct? What are you guys measuring for long rides?

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On my 5hr 26km/h road ride last Saturday I burned 4200 calories with an ave HR of 138. So I think it is possible to burn that much.

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I think they are talking bull. At least for energy consumption while riding, they could be including the energy use which happens after the ride, while metabolic rate is elevated. If this is the case, then they need to be more specific.

 

Also the terms Kcal, cal and KJ are too often mixed up and used in place of each other. Remember, Kcal = 1000 cal and 1 cal = 4.2 KJ. A 70kg man for weight maintenance requires approximately 10 000KJ per day (we are all different so excuse the round number in my example). A rider burning 8 000Kcal = 8 000 000 cal which in turn = 33 000 000KJ; please refer back to 70kg man weight maintenance KJ requirement!

 

I know the HR monitors measure in Kcal. I must only think that the use of Kcal and Cal are one and the same. In which case 33 000 000 KJ becomes 33 000 KJ.

 

Don't believe everything!

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On my 5hr 26km/h road ride

 

 

You'll find the guys on a typical day are riding 5 hours at nearly double that average speed in the tour. I think the increase in energy is not linear.

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I think they are talking bull. At least for energy consumption while riding, they could be including the energy use which happens after the ride, while metabolic rate is elevated. If this is the case, then they need to be more specific.

 

Also the terms Kcal, cal and KJ are too often mixed up and used in place of each other. Remember, Kcal = 1000 cal and 1 cal = 4.2 KJ. A 70kg man for weight maintenance requires approximately 10 000KJ per day (we are all different so excuse the round number in my example). A rider burning 8 000Kcal = 8 000 000 cal which in turn = 33 000 000KJ; please refer back to 70kg man weight maintenance KJ requirement!

 

I know the HR monitors measure in Kcal. I must only think that the use of Kcal and Cal are one and the same. In which case 33 000 000 KJ becomes 33 000 KJ.

 

Don't believe everything!

 

You got it wrong here, 1 cal = 4.2 joules not 4.2KJ.

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now you wonder why they Dope??? What do you have to eat to replace that and keep it up for 21 days

 

Sheesh, now you're talking like someone who has seen the light... The reason Grand Tour riders dope is exactly that, to speed up and assist with the body's recovery...

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Sheesh, now you're talking like someone who has seen the light... The reason Grand Tour riders dope is exactly that, to speed up and assist with the body's recovery...

 

But no dope will replenish depleted glycogen. So they will still need to eat quite a lot. But they consume a huge amount of calories during the race. So obviously they dont need to eat 20 000 worth after the stage.

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But no dope will replenish depleted glycogen. So they will still need to eat quite a lot. But they consume a huge amount of calories during the race. So obviously they dont need to eat 20 000 worth after the stage.

 

Yeah, reading that meal plan thread, these riders are eating some of the hubbers daily intake just during the stage itself, not to mention breakfast and dinner...

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Also heard that they consume up to 12 litres of liquid per day! But 12,000Kcal is still a lot that needs to be replaced by eating.

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12000kcal, don't know. But up to 30 000kj I think is possible. When your hr is way up in the 80-90% region, it's easy to burn 1000kcal or more per hour.

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Edman, this is a believable reference, without any confusion between units of cal, kcal, kJ, etc. It is simply not possible to burn 8000 kcal in a +/- 5 hours bike race as was reported on the TV last night, never mind 12000 kcal. Ties in totally with my own figures on a typical Epic day.

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If you assume a BMR of around 2,000 kcal then I reckon 8,000 kcal (2,000 BMR + 6,000 from riding) in a day is feasible for one of the heavier riders on a long stage, but the 12,000 kcal number sounds really dodgy.

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