Plant-Based Nutrition for Cyclists!

Happy Earth Day!!

Among the many reasons to adopt a plant-based diet, environmental sustainability is one of the more popular. For athletes choosing to shift to eating more plants, some more planning and awareness is needed. In case you missed our podcast episode, Coach Isaiah and I break down the fundamentals of eating a practical vegetarian or vegan diet as a cyclist, and how we approach doing it correctly. Listen in here:



I thought this was a great podcast and I am interested in fueling with more fruit based bars. My questions concerns fiber. IS that something to worry about and at what is the tipping point for too much fiber if fueling on the bike with fruit based bars?

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Hey @Trikitten! Thanks for checking out the podcast, stoked you enjoyed it. Fruit based bars are great, but fiber is definitely a concern with on-bike nutrition (and even in the days leading up to a race or big training day).

This is something that is super individual to everyone, but in general you want to limit fiber as much as possible while on the bike because a) it creates a feeling of fullness b) doesn’t provide any energy and c) can cause GI distress as it’s being digested and while you’re working hard. But the gut can be trained to handle it to a certain extent, so do a little self experimentation in training. I really like date-based bars because the fiber content is typically a little lower and easier to digest for me (such as Larabars or similar). But I would probably avoid the dried fruit based bars while racing and doing hard rides. Hope that helps!

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I’ve been using the Veloforte bars here in the UK. They are really something quite different but technically only one of them is true vegan friendly; most contain honey.


@Adam - nice! We just started carrying those bars at Rapha here in Boulder, and people are stoked about them. Pretty solid ingredients and great flavors.

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Hey Jackson, when you are in Asheville, I highly recommend you make it over to Plant Restaurant in Asheville. The owner, Jason, is also the main chef. The restaurant is 100% plant-based and absolutely one of the best vegan restaurants in the country. It’s very close to the hotel you’re staying at. Word of warning, make reservations as soon as possible. It’s a very small place and books days in advance. With the events going on next weekend, I wouldn’t wait to book.


Jackson, one additional word of knowledge, there’s a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s across the street from Plant and less than a mile from your hotel. Enjoy.

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@david.rafeedie Thank you! We’ll try and check it out!

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Glad that you got to enjoy Plant. It’s one of my favorite places.


It was phenomenal! I think even Frank liked it :joy:


@Jackson, I just listened to the podcast that @Isaiah and you posted on the plant-based cyclist.

I am a plant-based newbie coming from a diet that included diary, eggs and some animal protein in the form of chicken maybe 3-4 times a week. I am struggling with proteins, as many newbies do.

I weigh 60 kg (132 pounds) and according to many sources, I need about 72-84 mg of protein/day. If I do a workout and burn, say 1000 kcal, do I need to increase that protein to over 200 mg. as food resources such as cronometer and myfitnesspal suggest. That’s a huge amount of food intake.

Do I really need 200mg of protein? Am I understanding this correctly?


Hey -

The recommendations based on tons of research and what the American College of Sports Medicine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other governing bodies/experts in the field of sports nutrition and physiology are 1.2-2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes. Anything above that isn’t shown to be beneficial for exercise performance, recovery, muscle protein synthesis, etc so there’s no real reason to eat more than 120 grams per day, even when training hard. Likely you’ll only need around 90g, or 30ish grams per meal.

So just make sure you’re getting plenty of tofu or tempeh, a good quality protein powder, lots of beans and lentils, nut butters, etc. Get enough calories to meet your needs from a variety of whole plant foods and you’ll be good.



I just finished a 160 TSS workout consuming about 1500 kcal and calculators indicate I need about 400 g protein. That’s equivalent to about 20 big jars of peanut butter, or something like that. LOL

I think I’m on track then and will stop panicking.

I began to dig into your podcasts on InTheFlow.

Thanks @Jackson for the help.

Quinoa is also a great source of protein and it’s a complete protein is well.

3 Likes, yeah, I wouldn’t trust that calculator. That’s way wrong. Don’t overthink it - just win in the kitchen, eat whole foods until you’re satisfied, ride lots, repeat. Listen to my latest In The Flow episode, lotta good info in there on protein and meals for athletes.


Thanks again @Jackson.

The calculators such as Cronometer are a bit terrifying to contemplate. On a big ride or race day, I can easily spend 4000 kcal with Cronometer calling for 1000+ g protein - unattainable I suspect. I’ll continue to use Cronometer to log until I am more confident and aim for 75 - 120g of protein.

I confident I can get the protein I need on a daily basis without much difficulty, and on big training or race days, I can usually eat and eat so I don’t think that will be an issue either.

Your education, personal experience and podcasts have put my mind at ease for sure.

@FRANK, keep this guy!!

Grab the first Skratch labs cookbook and in the beginning of the book is a ton of information on how your body works and nutritional needs as an athlete. Use the tables/graphs to map out what your nutritional needs are based on what you do and your noisy. Then you have a baseline and as you do it, it’ll become more natural what your body needs after a workout/event but you’ll also know what foods, groups of foods together will meet your calorie/carb/protein needs after a big event.

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Hi @qquincyjones.

I am assuming you are referring to Biju Thomas’ and Allen Lim’s The Feed Zone book.
I’ve had that book since it was published almost a decade ago and I’m glad you mentioned it. Having a look again with a fresh, new point of view has been beneficial.


I could probably do the same actually, I got the book close to when it first came out too. Didn’t even think about how long it’s been since I first read it.