The Sports Nutrition Conference Highlights & The Magic Of The 100th Tour de France

Discount Supplements invest heavily into the science and application of sports supplementation, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of sports nutrition and optimal performance so that we can not only sell you the best products on the market, but also help you to maximise their effects safely. Supplementation must be considered holistically, considering all elements that make up an effective nutritional regimen, our nutrition and fitness experts aim to bridge the gap between nutrition, exercise and supplementation enabling you to get the most out of your investment.

In order to keep ahead of the game, Tom spent 4 days in Paris in order to experience the 100th Tour de France, get an idea of the nostalgia behind the event as well as see the results of world leading sports nutrition and supplementation exhibited by the riders themselves! The scientists and sports nutrition experts behind team Sky for example, and their riders such as Froome and Cavendish have to be above and beyond the competition, they have to know what works, how it works and whether it works better combined with something else…it’s a complex process!

Therefore this trip to Paris, for the purpose of attending what is arguably the most cutting edge and robust sports nutrition conference out there was exactly what we were looking for to keep us, and of course our customers ahead of the game.

‘Paris Syndrome’ : Not from where I’m standing!

Who’s heard of this ‘Paris Syndrome’, the transient psychological disorder affecting some people visiting Paris. The thing with gay Paris is that so many people conjure up idealised images of what Paris is and what it delivers as the romance capital of the world, in fact, the same goes for places like Jerusalem, where people will save for months, years, and sometimes even a lifetime just so they can visit it. If the destination doesn’t live up to what they’d imagined (and quite often it doesn’t) then this sends the tourist into a state of despair! This may seem a little over the top to some of you, but it’s as real as the sky is blue to those people suffering it…however, allow me to come to Paris’ defence! The Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triumph and Champs Elysees were everything I expected and more. Maybe this positive impression stemmed from the nostalgia filling the Parisian air in anticipation of the 100th Tour de France, the opportunity for the second Brit to ride to victory in as many years, and for the multi ethnic crowds gathering to celebrate the same cause.

Champs Elysees…aka the finishing line

Paris did not disappoint, the stage was set for the 100th Tour and the crowds were gathering around the finishing line at the Champs Elysees from as early as 8am… some 12 hours before the cyclists were expected to finish! I’m proud to say that I was one of those hardcore fans finding myself walking amongst the horse chestnut trees that flank the home straight, popping in the stylish designer shops and swiftly exiting once copping an eyeful of the price tags, walking up to the many stalls selling French cuisine including fromage jambon baguettes and croque monsieur, as well as vast amounts of bottled water in preparation for the scorching temperatures forecast that day.

Sightseeing with a limp, and the build up to the race!

It wasn’t easy finding things to do that didn’t entail too much walking. Walking had proven more difficult than first expected no thanks to the 5 mile run and activity afternoon shared with international sports coaches, Olympic nutritionists and other Dietitian’s the day before. I wasn’t sure if I was going to participate in the run because of my flights etc, but turns out I arrived in time, minus the proper running shoes! Being the Trojan I am (all be it a little unprepared) and not wanting to appear a spoil sport, I went out for the run…but in a pair of boat shoes! I wish I had tried out the ‘bare foot’ running method that is catching on in the UK, but I was unsure of the terrain and if indeed my feet could tolerate the pounding they would have to endure. So I went out on the run, endured the laughs at my expense (granted they were deserved) and proceeded to finish in the top 5, which wasn’t too bad considering there were cross country skiers who are arguably the fittest athletes around and a few triathletes for good measure! So I was paying the price of not bringing the proper attire but this by no means stopped me from doing the touristy thing, and I can safely say it was worth it. The buzz that goes with visiting a new place was doubled due to the sense of anticipation in the air for the 100th Tour…what a great experience!

Supplement testing

Those who participated in the run were also due to attend the Sports Nutrition Conference commencing the day after the Tour de France finale. The run and activities served as excellent ice breakers as well as an opportunity to trial many established, and cutting edge supplements yet to be released. It was an excellent opportunity to experience the benefit of certain supplements first hand, including beta-alanine, energy gel shots, isotonic drinks, protein and carb recovery drinks and protein/carb bars to name a few. Of particular note were the discussions surrounding the addition of sodium bicarbonate to reduce blood acidity and stave off fatigue, as well as the efficacy of good old caffeine…yep caffeine was a major talking point of this conference and how many of the Tour de France riders would not set off without it! Speaking of the riders, would you believe that over 40,000 supplements are consumed by just 200 athletes over the course of the Tour de France…I think this goes some way to validating the sports nutrition and sports supplement game!

Conference time

The conference was over two days and consisted of seminars and workshops delivered by Professors and Doctors from all around the world. The subjects discussed included:

-Post exercise nutrition and supplementation
-Optimal levels of protein for muscle recovery and growth
-Protein timing and its effects on muscle synthesis
-Carbs and Protein co-ingestion
-Carb loading and Protein recovery
-Role of Caffeine
-Role of Leucine
-Maximising glycogen stores

…and much much more! Articles and videos around these subject areas will be posted in the coming weeks, so keep checking our blog and ‘Nutritube’ Youtube channel!

This really was a conference packed full of information, delivered by leading professionals and researchers, which has the added benefit of Q & A sessions, a perk not usually afforded with your ordinary journal articles (for obvious reasons). Being able to ask questions, give scenarios and get a multi-disciplinary response from cyclists, triathletes, iron man athletes and athletics coaches made this a learning experience of a lifetime…the beauty is, that these conferences occur several times a year meaning the learning (at this particular conference) starts all over again in November…roll on!

As a company, Discount Supplements have benefited no end from the insightful, applied nutrition and supplement information delivered at the conference. All that was learnt will be disseminated to our customers, and the science channelled into our supplements to ensure that we as a company, and me and Scott as sports nutrition and fitness experts are at the crest of the wave and ahead of the game!

Seeing as this whole trip was based in France, it’s only right to finish with a bit of cheese…the Tour de France Champs Elysees!

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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