Van Hooydonck fuels his dreams with The Athlete's FoodCoach app
Nathan Van Hooydonck has joined Team Jumbo-Visma in 2021. Working with the The Athlete's FoodCoach app has opened his eyes to the importance of nutrition in cycling.
"Thanks to FoodCoach, I feel much more confident on my bike. The app tells me exactly what to eat at different times of the day to perform at my best. It's reassuring to know that I no longer have to worry about whether I've eaten too much or too little."
"The strength of The Athlete's FoodCoach app is that it covers all aspects of nutrition. Before using the app, I would sometimes forget to have a recovery meal in the excitement of a victory, or I would overeat in the evening. That's no longer the case," Van Hooydonck explains.
"I now know exactly which nutrients my body needs to recover optimally and maintain my weight, which is crucial during stage races. The importance of proper nutrition is truly immense."
How important has nutrition been for the team in winning the Tour de France?
"I don't know if we, as Team Jumbo-Visma, would have won the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia without FoodCoach. It would have been much more challenging to recover and be ready for the next stage in the best possible way. FoodCoach contributes to every victory."
"Nutrition is an important piece of the puzzle in cycling. And if you want to win races, all the puzzle pieces need to come together. As a cyclist, you also want your bike to be in top shape, right? The same goes for your nutrition. And the great thing is: I can continue eating what I normally eat. FoodCoach focuses on small adjustments to the basic diet. In the app, I can choose from the tastiest recipes with rice or pasta. And during stage races, the jars of peanut butter are still on the table."
"And the great thing is: I can continue eating what I normally eat"
Are you dependent on the FoodCoach app?
"Well, there is a certain level of dependency involved. That's why it's important for me to always think for myself. If I still feel hungry on a rest day, even though the app says I've eaten enough, I listen to my body and grab a healthy snack."
"The key is to follow the major guidelines. That puts you two steps ahead compared to relying solely on instinct. Sometimes, I might choose chicken instead of turkey or make a different pasta sauce than what FoodCoach suggests, but I make sure to adjust the amount of pasta I should eat accordingly."
"It's not necessary for every meal to be perfect in order to have a healthy eating pattern. It's not about getting the total sum of everything you eat exactly right. I view each meal as an opportunity to do better. I wouldn't call FoodCoach an obsession for me, but rather a routine. It doesn't require any extra effort, and I have thousands of recipes to choose from."
"I see every meal as an opportunity to improve"
"If I didn't use the app, I would have had to search for recipes in a cookbook. That would have taken more time, and the cookbook wouldn't tell me how much of each ingredient I can have. That's where FoodCoach helps me with my nutrition in an easy and enjoyable way."
What is your tip for amateur cyclists?
"That's why I'm confident that FoodCoach can also be valuable for serious amateur cyclists. The app is the perfect foundation for any cyclist who wants to eat healthier and perform better on the bike in a simple and accessible way. This can be achieved by making small adjustments to your basic diet."