Proof that Chris Froome is not on a low-carb diet

This article is a transcript from a video of Paul Van Zweel, cycling coach

Today I’m going to be discussing Chris Froome’s Grand Tour winning diet. Now, all the data was revealed by BBC Sport in a recent article published on the 4th of July 2018. What does it take in terms of diet, in terms of fueling, to be a Grand Tour champion? In this article, I’m going to summarize it into five key points.

How much does he eat?

One thing that I noticed from the article is that for a less extreme stage, an easier stage like stage 11 for example, he would have a smaller breakfast of 524 kcal, whereas for an extreme stage like stage 19 which was really mountainous stage, he would have large breakfast of 996 kcal, so double the size of the breakfast. What these pro riders typically do is all have their breakfast two to three hours before the start of the stage so that their lungs have the capacity to expand and that they can get as much oxygen as possible into their bloodstream. On the most extreme day of the Grand Tour, Chris is having 6500 kcal and 1.3 kg of that is coming from carbohydrates. This is what that looks like in terms of Thai powdered brown sugar. This stuff is absolutely delicious!

Carbohydrates per hour on the bike

Another point that I got from the BBC article is that Chris has up to 96 grams of carbohydrates per hour during the stage, and less than 2% of calories from the fuel that he takes in come from fat, so he is having mostly simple sugars during the stage, and this allows him to be strong all day long.

Macronutrient ratios

How much percentage of Chris Froome’s calories is coming from carbohydrates, protein and fat? For an extreme stage like stage 19, it’s 79% carbohydrates, 9% protein and 12% fat. So really low fat, really low protein when the pressure gets turned on. And for a less extreme stage like stage 11, it’s 66% calories from carbohydrates, 23% from protein and 11% from fat. So, for both stages, whether it’s less extreme or more extreme, still a low percentage of calories coming from fat (11 to 12%).

Fueling strategies

Another interesting point in the article and something unconventional that most of the other teams don’t do is the fueling strategy that Chris uses for the stage. For stage 19 for example, they break it down into calorie consumption or the carbohydrate consumption for every 20 minutes of the stage and all the sections of it (a flatter section, the downhill section and all the climbs). During the climbing section, he will have more grams of carbohydrates every 20 minutes than he would for the downhill section and flat section.

Carbohydrates sources

For the carbohydrates that Chris consumes, he’s having mostly refined carbohydrates in the form of syrup, rice overall sweets, rocket fuel (which is a mixture of maltodextrin and fructose), juice, jam, pancakes, honey and gels. He is having rocket fuel and gels during the stage and off the bike he is having all these other things that I mentioned. The reason that he has refined carbohydrates is just because the body can digest and assimilate it into glycogen most effectively.

Constructive criticism

Finally my only criticism of his diet is that he can make it a lot more effective, he can increase his carbohydrate consumption by going vegan and getting nutrients directly from the source instead of filtering them through the animal products. What I mean by that is the nutrients that animal products contain come directly from plants anyway, so it’s better just to get them directly from the source instead of getting them indirectly through animal products. Another reason is because animal products place a toxic load on your body, the body has to work a lot harder, it has to spend a lot more energy to process the animal products, whereas plant products require a lot less energy to process. Furthermore, animal products have toxic elements like saturated fat, cholesterol, animal protein and also biomagnification of environmental pollutants. All in all, a vegan diet is definitely the way to go and I’m willing to put $10,000 on it that if Chris Froome goes vegan his performance is at least going to stay the same. And his recovery between the stages is going to be even better.

The dirty secrets about protein supplements

People often ask me about protein. How come I have muscle mass as a vegan cyclist while eating so little protein? Well I recommend not using protein supplements, because 1) they are a complete waste of your money, and 2) an excess intake of protein is unhealthy.
1) Whole plant foods have way enough amino acids to meet human needs. Moreover, the human body recycles 100 to 300 grams of its own amino acids per day. Eat beans if you enjoy them, but having beans once or twice a week is enough. Here is a full article about protein requirements for humans: The article also covers athletes and bodybuilders and quotes many scientific references.
2) A new major study found that the risk of heart failure was increased by 49% for people consuming a high amount of dairy protein and by 17% for people consuming lots of plant protein. Name of the study: Intake of Different Dietary Proteins and Risk of Heart Failure in Men. The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Heli E.K. Virtanen, Sari Voutilainen, Timo T. Koskinen, Jaakko Mursu, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Jyrki K. Virtanen. Circulation: Heart Failure. 2018;11:e004531, Originally published May 29, 2018. Link of the study:

Question: Thoughts on the bodybuilding idea of bulking up and then cutting? First gaining fat with a bulk, then cutting to lose that fat compared to ‘lean bulks’ or ‘recomping’?🤔
It’s just a joke. All it is, is they do different steroid cycles to build muscle, and then certain drugs to flush water away from the muscle so you look more defined but really they are just mega dehydrated.
A cycle of anadrol, etc. only should be a month or 3 otherwise it’s very hard on the liver. This is known as a ‘bulking’ cycle. Then when you are swollen, you take certain drugs to cut off the water to get a ‘dry’ look. The discussion of drugs isn’t talked about because you want your customers or fans to think you are natty and look like that all year long so you can sell them diet plans or personal training, etc.
Great example is Matt Ogus who takes some pretty hard stuff and his body weight fluctuates massively over the year and years.
Most steroids will make you puffy as, but they hide that by saying ‘Im just bulking bro’ and put up a few pics of junk food, etc. as a smoke screen.
Bodybuilding at an impressive physique level = 100% steroid usage. There simply is no other way.
Anyone trying to ride as fast as those on EPO or build muscle to the level of those on the gas are really going to be in for a rude shock at some point.
The individual needs to decide if they are going to stay natty or get on PED and really go for it. That way they can stop comparing themselves against obvious non natty individuals.
– Durianrider.