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Nutrition Plan - Mountain Biking & Cycling - Aaron Dalrymple

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Aaron Dalrymple mountain bikingAaron Dalrymple is a mountain biker and cyclist that is most passionate about challenging himself, pushing his physical limits during long endurance rides, and finding ways to improve his performance and stay motivated. He competes in both short and long distance races and focuses on strong and simple nutrition principles. He focuses on a diet of healthy foods, avoids processed foods, and supplements his diet with gels, electrolytes, and bars when racing. Read his full nutrition plan in this Q&A. 

Do you follow a specific diet? If so, describe it and explain how is it benefitting you?
I don’t follow a specific diet but I have a couple of core principals I adhere two. First, I eat “real” food and avoid processed foods. My wife and I cook at home most of the time and try to source, local, fresh ingredients. Second, I try to make fruits and vegetables and lean protein the cornerstones of my diet. Finally, moderation is key. I don’t necessarily exclude red meat or dairy products but I eat them in moderation. 

Do you have a health condition or allergy that requires you to have a special nutrition plan? No

Do you supplement daily with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids etc…?
No supplements. 

What’s your pre-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan?
I drink lots of water, every day. On the day before a race, I just make sure that I follow my normal routine and prioritize drinking water. Most of my races are 2 hours or less, so there is no special diet or meal before a race. If it’s a morning race I’ll eat oatmeal 2-3 hours prior. Then I’ll eat something about 15 minutes prior to the race, preferably something with caffeine like CLIF SHOT BLOKS. 

What’s your during workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan?
I have a pretty simple workout strategy. I use Nuun for hydration. For base rides, I try to bring real food for longer rides – maybe banana bread or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For more intense rides, I use Bonk Breaker bars, CLIF SHOT BLOKS, CLIF SHOT Recovery Drink Mix, and Honey Stinger Waffles. For races, I primarily use gels. I try to eat at least every 45 minutes, so 200-300 calories per hour. For shorter XC races, I time my eating around laps. So if it’s a 4 lap (2 hour race), I consume a large gel (200-250 calories) after the 1st and 3rd laps. For gels I use Honey Stinger and WCUP. 

What’s your post-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan?
I always try to eat a good source of protein within 30 minutes of finishing a long ride. Chocolate milk is always convenient. For longer rides, I may use the Cliff protein powder in a shake, along with almond milk, low fat yogurt, dates, a banana and peanut butter (yum!). I’m generally not super hungry after races and intense rides, so the shake is key. When I finally get my appetite, I will revert back to my normal diet.  

Do you compete in different types of events? If so, is your nutrition/hydration plan that’s different for each event?
For longer distance events (Leadville), I eat early and often. I try to eat the heavier foods first (bars) because later in the race I won’t have the appetite. I prefer variety so after the bar it’s on to gel blocks, Honey Stinger Waffles and then gels. 

Any other nutrition/hydration secrets you’d like to share?
I have never liked “thick” drinks so for me Nuun have always been my go to source for hydration. I just like to keep it simple – Nuun in the bottle and then bars and gels for energy. 

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