George Hincapie: My Day in Food

After 14 years in the pro peloton, George Hincapie, 34, knows sports nutrition. JOHN BRADLEY caught up with Lance's former lieutenant at the end of the season to find out how he stays fueled.

Dec 27, 2007
Outside Magazine

Hincapie enjoying the off-season at home in South Carolina

I'm six-three, and my race weight is about 162. But when I'm not racing, I can gain 15 pounds in a hurry. For one month each year I eat whatever I want—ice cream, beer, all the stuff I avoid during the season. I'm doing that now. My last race was three weeks ago, and I've already added 11 pounds. But when I'm racing, I have to stay lean, which means getting healthy calories. I'd guess I take in 3,000 to 3,500 calories on a typical training day. But I do it by feel. I just cannot count calories. For me, coming home after a hard ride and measuring my food would be over the top.

I eat about an hour and a half before training rides, which start around 10. It's usually a three-egg omelet with ham and cheese, toast, and yogurt. For long rides, like five hours, it will be three or four pieces of toast, and I'll add some rice or a bowl of cereal and a banana.

I basically eat it on the bike, as a mix of bars, gels, and drinks. I'll have a PowerBar or some other energy bar every hour to hour and a half and a gel every hour or so. I average about a bottle an hour for drinks—some Accelerade and some plain water.

After shorter rides, when I get back before two o'clock, I'll have a recovery shake from Cytomax and some pasta or potatoes—a normal lunch. But if I've been out for five or six hours, I just have the shake and maybe a banana and wait for dinner.

It's usually a big salad with all kinds of vegetables, pasta, a vegetable side dish, and chicken or steak. When we're cooking at home, or when we have a team chef on the road, I'll eat different pasta sauces. Otherwise I'll just use olive oil to avoid any stomach issues.