Too healthy to ride? How clean living could slow you down

While a healthy diet is central to optimal cycling performance, for some riders the quest to eat only the ‘right’ foods morphs into orthorexia, an unhealthy fixation with purity - Words by Anita Bean

The pursuit of wellness is rightly important to most cyclists. For some, though, what starts as a health kick turns into a harmful fixation. An interest in ‘clean eating’ or a desire to shed surplus pounds can spiral into obsessive behaviour.

“It was the night before a big race in Belgium and I found myself staring in horror at the cafe menu. Chips with everything; white baguettes and rolls,” says Sam Woodfield, 27, a cat-two rider from Peterborough. “There was nothing that fitted my ‘clean eating’ rules.”

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