Hydration and Nutrition

Tom Shand Dietitian RGB3

Fueling Endurance

A sports dietitian’s guide to the BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge nutrition.
Hi, my name is Tom Shand, I am a sports dietitian, and it is my aim to help you achieve your BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge goals.

Whether your goal is to finish, get a new personal best, or to win, the food you eat during training and on event day will play a big part in your success. This article will examine some basic strategies that you can implement to help achieve your goals.

Performance is built on the foundations of great day to day eating.
• Endurance training comes at an energy cost, so you must fund this with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Now is not the time for restrictive diets!
• Choose a variety of nutritious, minimally-processed foods, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you meet your micronutrient requirements.
• A “diet” low in calories and nutrients can lead to fatigue and illness which will impact on training quality. You are an athlete, eat like one!

Optimise training - maximise fitness gains
• Enhance the quality of your training and boost performance by consuming carbohydrates during exercise. The more carbohydrates you consume, the better you will perform.
• Practice consuming carbohydrates during training to increase your tolerance.
• Use a carbohydrate containing sports drink, gels, bars, or whole foods.
• Aim to tolerate at least 60g of carbs per hour of exercise.

Hydration matters
• “Drinking to thirst” is an easy concept to follow during exercise, but probably underestimates how much fluid you should consume to optimise performance.
• Consider a basic sweat rate test so that you can develop a personalised hydration plan that you experiment with during training.
• Everyone is different, and the weather plays a big role, but you should expect to drink at least 600mls per hour.
• You must also ensure you have a game plan for event day - how many bottles on your bike? Will you need to refill at aid stations? Exactly what you will drink and have you trialled it in training (e.g. water vs sports drink)? Will your drink contain carbohydrates?
• nuun is the event sponsor, so be sure to trial their products during training if you plan on using the aid stations.

Get returns on your hard work
• It is after your training session, during “recovery” when your body actually gets fitter.
• Training creates an environment which encourages your body to adapt and get fitter, and providing it with the right building blocks during this time will optimise fitness gains.
• Consuming the right amount of carbs, protein and fluid after exercise will allow the hard work you put in during training to be converted to fitness improvements.
• Carbohydrates replenish your fuel tank, protein helps your muscles remodel, and think of veggies like the oil in your car – keeping everything running smoothly.

Event day is not a trial
• An extra large pre-event breakfast, sports drinks, and gels can all potentially cause catastrophic stomach issues if you are doing them for the first time on event day.
• Event day nutrition is an extension of what you have been doing in training: don’t try anything on event day you haven’t trialed in training.
• Know your nutrition and hydration plan in advance. Practice and learn what works, and then plan exactly what food, gels and drinks you will take.

Get the Guide
Outsourcing is so hot right now. If you are keen to tick the nutrition box, but don’t have the time or inclination, then check out the packages that I have put together to help nail your nutrition through the BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge online shop.

If you have any nutrition issues get in touch with our dietitian Tom Shand or check out my website for further details.

Nutrition and Training - 1 week snapshot

Event partners Venturo Coaching, Trailblazer Nutrition, nuun and CLIF have developed a one week training snapshot which includes suggestions on riding regime, nutrition advice along with nutrition and electrolyte intake recommendations.


Official Electrolyte Drink - Nuun Hydration

Nutrition page Nuun image


Nuun (pronounced ‘noon’) is proud to partner with Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and will offer their plant-based electrolyte replacement sports drink on course at key aid station points.  With the shift in preference moving to natural sports nutrition, nuun is becoming increasingly attractive to athletes looking for a clean, high performance alternative.

You sweat - nuun replenishes

Packed with an optimal blend of 4 key electrolytes, a light flavour and clean ingredients, nuun hydration is a perfect sports drink for your active lifestyle.  

Available from leading bike, sport and outdoor stores nationwide. Email for your nearest stockist.

 CLIF Bar™

Nutrition page CLIF image


The great taste and nutritional goodness of the original CLIF Bar– perfect for grabbing on the go!

CLIF Bars are ideal when your body has high energy demands. With a mix of carbohydrates, protein and fibre, CLIF Bars supply working bodies with the extra energy and nutrients they need for extended periods of activity.

CLIF Bar products available from leading bike, sport and outdoor stores nationwide. For further information or your nearest stockist visit