Harvest of Champions

If mom had told you what fruits and veggies can do for your game, maybe you would've listened. But it's not too late.

Mar 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

IT TOOK USA Cycling-certified coach Adam Hodges Myerson more than a decade to figure out what had been preventing him from becoming a pro bike racer: his diet. Food, he discovered, should be used as both fuel and good medicine to speed recovery and keep you healthy. Currently heading up a coaching service called Cycle-Smart, based in Northampton, Massachusetts, Myerson began his amateur racing career by racking up impressive results in short order: victories at the 1990 Fitchburg Criterium in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and later that year against the pros at the Marblehead Road Race. At his peak, in 1995, he finished eighth at the National Criterium Championships, riding full-time for Team HealthShare. But in those days, he knew little about nutrition beyond carbo-loading. "I was subsisting on energy bars and peanut butter and Minute Rice and ramen," Myerson says. And each year, recurring colds and flu kept halting his training for weeks at a time. "If you miss a week of training four times a season," he says, "you're simply not going to achieve your potential." In 1998, frustrated by a stalled racing career, Myerson quit and began researching a leaner diet to replace his high-calorie intake. He realized that for 11 years he'd been competing on a diet almost entirely bereft of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in their natural, unrefined state. And it wasn't until he added these missing ingredients that he learned just how pathetic his racing diet had been. "I felt noticeably better overall," he says, "and then I started winning races again."

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