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by Mark Zalewski
November 25, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Garderen will focus on Giro d’Italia in 2017; Interview: Louis Meintjes, future Tour de France star?; A team on the brink: Avanti-IsoWhey Sports’ fight for survival; Emakumeen Bira denied Women’s WorldTour status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain-Merida; Pellaud joins Team Illuminate; Is Coca-Cola good for cyclists?; Simon Zahner taking applications for development riders; Team Dimension Data unveils new kit; Gent-Wevelgem to include unpaved roads in 2017.
Watch the Tour de France or any major pro race and you are likely to see riders consuming small cans of the soft drink Coca-Cola, usually near the closing kilometres of a long race or just after finishing. To the uninitiated layperson it may seem at odds with the typical nutrition of endurance athletes, but yet, there it always is — the familiar red can of Coke pulled from a musette. Does it have magical powers for cyclists or is it just simply refreshing?
Some may say the sugar is the key, others the caffeine, or that it is simply a nice change after downing so many sports drinks that are high on science but low on taste. There have been studies looking specifically at Coke and athletes.
“It does hydrate and it contains glucose and sucrose, so it’s going to help restore both muscle and liver glycogen,” according to performance nutritionist Drew Price.
“The key is that pros aren’t drinking a lot. You’re talking about a fun-size can [150ml]. On a stage that lasts six or seven hours, a couple of sips of Coke aren’t going to hurt you. Coke is palatable, and consuming four or five litres of electrolyte drinks and water during a race can get tedious.”
And for the caffeine boost, one is better off with other sources, as Coke contains less than half the caffeine found in a cup of coffee, and not nearly enough to provide any kind of performance enhancement.
Click through to read more at Cyclist.