Matching fuelling intake to energy demands is a high-performance hot trend - here’s what you need to know

Fuel for the work required: we explain the message behind the mantra, why you should get on board, and how to do so

Female cyclist grabbing an energy bar out of her jersey pocket
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re serious about your cycling, you’ll want to maximise the benefits you get from each training session. Since each one has unique fuel demands, it makes sense to tailor your fuelling plan accordingly.  

That’s the idea behind the mantra ‘fuelling for the work required’ (FFTWR), named after a landmark paper by sports scientists Dr Sam Impey and Professor James Morton at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). In the paper – Fuel for the work required: a practical approach to amalgamating train-low paradigms for endurance athletes – the two scientists described a new strategy that marked a paradigm shift in sports nutrition. It helped Team Sky (now Ineos Grenadiers) and Chris Froome win the 2016 Tour de France and has since been adopted by many professional and amateur cyclists.  

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