Eat Carbs, Ride Fast: Why this Pro Cyclist Bakes His Own Bread

Need proof that you can consume bread (and butter) on a daily basis and still ride really, really fast?

James Stout |

Twenty-five-year-old Holowesko-Citadel rider Robin Carpenter is one of the top cyclists on the North American professional circuit, and he got there on a diet of home-baked sourdough. His bread is in such demand from his teammates, he brings it to events. “When I make a perfect loaf, it feels like winning a race,” Carpenter says.

By making your own bread, you eliminate unnecessary additives like sugar and preservatives. Plus, says Carpenter, “I need all those carbs for my big rides.” Science agrees. “There’s a mountain of evidence suggesting that low-carbohydrate diets don’t make you faster,” says Sean Burke, MS, an exercise physiologist and cycling coach in San Diego.

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To make his sourdough, Carpenter uses a special starter, a fermented blend of flour and water. It produces a delicious loaf that’s especially beneficial for cyclists. While it’s more complicated than creating a yeast-based dough, the process isn’t difficult—the hardest part is waiting out the “stinky cheese” phase while the mixture ferments, says Carpenter.

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