In Greece Olympics, Cyclist George Hincapie to Apply Past Lessons Learned

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When George Hincapie first competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at age 18, he trained hard, pedaled vigorously, and cycled his heart out. But despite his effort, he achieved only a 16th place finish. Now, a wise 12 years later -- and after earning the nickname Â?the faithful lieutenantÂ? for his support to Armstrong in six Tour de Frances -- Hincapie enters the Greece Olympics prepared to apply valuable lessons learned in his past.

When George Hincapie first competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at age 18, he trained hard, pedaled vigorously, and cycled his heart out. But despite his effort, he achieved only a 16th place finish. Now, a wise 12 years later -- and after earning the nickname "the faithful lieutenant" for his support to Armstrong in six Tour de Frances -- Hincapie enters the Greece Olympics prepared to apply valuable lessons learned in his past.

"I went to the (1992) Olympics and got completely killed...I had trained hard, but the things that I did, the way I ate, the way I lived...it wasn’t 100 percent toward cycling," Hincapie said in an NBC Olympics interview.

Since that time, Hincapie has learned a lot about how to eat and live to increase his cycling performance. "Racing at a professional level in international competition like the Tour de France places extreme demands on one's body. To try to compete without attention to the best nutrition would be impossible," Hincapie said.

In road cycling, conserving energy is key to winning. Riders drafting behind others will conserve 25 percent of the energy they would expend if riding in front. Grouped in teams, riders also designate a leader and sometimes carry his food, liquid, and supplies -- all to help conserve his energy for the final sprint, where he will need all the muscle endurance he can muster to pull ahead.

These are strategies every cyclist knows, but what Hincapie learned in Barcelona 12 years ago was the value of proper nutrition. Because of the increased muscle breakdown and body wear-and-tear, endurance athletes need increased levels of protein, about twice as much as regular adults. If muscles become fatigued, you’ll have less energy.

Proteins are the "building materials" of the body, essential for rapid muscle repair, tissue growth, and fast body recovery. The problem is that most protein foods are fatty animal byproducts delivering more calories and waste than actual protein to the body.

Burning protein as caloric energy rather than using it for building materials not only leaves muscles and cells weakened, but releases high levels of nitrogen, which arrive at the kidney as waste, increasing fatigue.

To get the needed protein without all the calories and waste, Hincapie says, "I take BioBuilde. It helps to preserve my muscle strength and recovery, my immune system and my energy. I can recommend it highly."

BioBuilde recently appeared as one of the top two protein supplements in Inside Triathlon’s August magazine. In contrast to other protein supplements, which have low protein synthesis and high nitrogen release, BioBuilde has a 99 percent Net Nitrogen Utilization, meaning almost all the protein is used for rebuilding muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and for providing increased immunity and bone strength.

Other protein supplements have about a 20 percent Net Nitrogen Utilization, converting the rest to calories and waste. High protein meats like chicken and fish only utilize 30 percent. To see more comparisons, visit this chart: http://www.bodyhealth.com/html/biobuilde/about_understanding3.asp#net

As the Olympics approach, the 31-year-old Hincapie is training hard as before, but his last 12 years of cycling have given him valuable lessons in nutrition he will be taking to this year’s Olympics, probably his last. The Olympic Road Cycling events take place Aug 14-18, but Hincapie’s training and preparation continue year round.

To learn more about BioBuilde, visit http://www.BodyHealth.com

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Jeannine Dowdell
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