What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: The work of dietician Stephanie Scheirlynck

Stephanie Scheirlynck, dietician at Energy Lab, has joined the Lotto Belisol riders to Mallorca. During this training camp she will have individual conversations and give them the necessary nutrition tips. We talked to this lady about her role now and throughout the season.

Stephanie Scheirlynck, dietician Energy Lab: “During this training camp I will advise each rider individually. They all had to keep a diary for three days in which they had to write down what they ate, when and how much. I have analyzed those data and I will talk to each rider separately about his results. That way he knows what he possibly has to change to his nutrition pattern. We also take sweat tests here in Mallorca to see how much salt the riders lose and that way we can adapt the drinks they have to take. Someone who transpires more salt, needs more salt in his sports drink.”

“The nutrition habits of each rider are different. There are differences per country, because the products aren’t the same, but there’s also a difference in regularity. Some riders skip breakfast or eat many little snacks during the day and others only take breakfast, lunch and dinner but very extensively. When a rider is still living at home, he often eats what’s put on the table and possibly that isn’t sufficient for a professional sportsman. That’s why I also give advice for the parents, girlfriend or wife.”

“Most of the riders, who were already part of the team, I know for several years and for them it’s more details that have to be discussed. Now there are nine newcomers too. Nutrition advice isn’t offered in all teams. I for example explain the importance of sports drinks. If they know why they do something and feel the effect, they will keep living up to the tips. During a training of four hours you can’t only drink water. When you go cycling without taking in extra energy you will get injured more easily or get overtired.”

“An important part of my job is to go to the hotels in the period of the classics to make sure the right food comes on the table. When there are races abroad I will always make up some menus or give recipes they can prepare in the hotel. The riders often come to us to control their fat percentage and muscle mass, on that base I make nutrition schemes or give them extra tips. My job in the season is also to more intensively follow up the riders that have some problems with keeping their weight under control.”

“I’m always available, so if a rider has stomach or intestinal problems and there is doubt about what he may eat or his weight changes, the team can always call on me. At this training camp the whole team is present and I can accompany them at training and see the riders at the buffet, so I can adjust if necessary. It’s nice to be together, because some riders I hardly see because they are abroad, but then we keep contact via phone or email.”

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