As Mark Bailey writes in The Telegraph, many endurance athletes have become resigned to their icky energy foods. He describes the ubiquitous squeezable gels and energy bars often found at bicycle races "as appetising as a freshly gnawed dog chew and as kind on your stomach as a night on the tequila." That's why, he says, American sports physiologist Dr. Allen Lim and expert chef Biju Thomas first joined forces at the 2008 Tour de France. They hoped to wean athletes off processed energy food by offering a real food alternative: 

"Out went dense, dry bars and toxic-coloured gels and in came raspberry and mint rice cakes, apple and pecan sticky bites, sweet potato and bacon rice balls, and banana and walnut two-bite pies. Each recipe was deliberately designed to be easily wrapped in foil and carried in a jersey pocket, ensuring the snacks are as practical as they are palatable."

Lim tells Bailey that too many athletes assume engineered products are innately superior to natural food. One of the many reasons they're not, he says, is because real food performs better because "it works with – not against – the body’s natural digestive processes... and therefore improves the delivery of nutrients and energy to your body."

Take a look at Bailey's full piece below to learn more about Lim and Thomas' food philosophy. They also include a few recipes in case you want to try some of their creations yourself. As always, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Read more at The Telegraph

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