Swinkels is amazed by the significant role of nutrition with FoodCoach
The right fuel at the right moments - since Karlijn Swinkels started using FoodCoach, she knows better what her body needs at each moment. "Sometimes, after a hard training, I felt completely drained and thought I wasn't good enough. But, in simple terms, I wasn't using the right fuel. If you put gasoline in a diesel car, it won't work either."
"Before I started using FoodCoach, I mainly relied on intuition when it came to eating", Swinkels says. "I would pick the products I thought were good for me, and if someone told me to have a big breakfast, I would do that. But, what exactly constituted a big breakfast? 500 calories or 1,000 calories?
Now that I follow the guidelines of FoodCoach, I know what my body needs at each moment of the day. At first, I found it strange that some days I needed to eat more for breakfast than dinner. But now that I understand how it works, it makes sense to me: if there's a heavy training scheduled for the morning, I need my energy early in the day."
How do you use the FoodCoach app?
"FoodCoach is a very important guideline for me. I intentionally use the term 'guideline' because I believe that as an athlete, you should always listen to your own body's signals. For example, if you fell down during a stage and your body needs more nutrition to recover, it's not about strictly adhering to every calorie recommended by FoodCoach, but rather about consuming the right fuel at the right moments."
What have you learned since working with FoodCoach?
"I notice the biggest difference in multi-day races and during intense training sessions. During a multi-day race, I still feel exhausted at the end of the day, but I am fit again for the next stage the following day. And during a long five-hour training session, I notice that I cycle just as easily in the fifth hour as I did in the first hour because I consumed the right fuel at the right moments beforehand and replenished my supplies on the bike.
I have been amazed by the significant role of nutrition. Sometimes, after a heavy training session, I felt completely drained and thought I wasn't good enough. Now I know: I was good enough, but I didn't have the right nutrition. It's like putting gasoline in a diesel car; it just won't work."
"I have been amazed by the significant role nutrition plays"