CW scrutinises the dietary habits of pro riders to find out what’s fuelling their superhuman efforts; this week it’s Josh Hunt

Despite being a latecomer to the world of cycling — he started riding a bike at 16 — Josh, the younger brother of former professional Jeremy, has come on leaps and bounds over the past seven years.

Still only 23, the young lad who was born in Torquay but raised in Manchester raced in Belgium and France for three years, before returning to the UK in 2013 to race for UK Youth. At the beginning of this year, the promising young talent signed for NFTO. Here’s his food diary for a typical training day.

Breakfast

Big bowl of muesli with 
semi-skimmed milk, two slices of toast with peanut butter and jam and a glass of orange juice.

JH: Normally this gets me through a good long ride with no issues. I don’t know if it’s just me or in general, but I find if I don’t have bread, my stomach doesn’t feel occupied. Maybe it’s just because I’m so used to it now, but I like toast more than anything.

CW says: While Josh seems to enjoy the feeling of fullness that bread delivers, it’s also a very good source of carbohydrates, fuelling his ride. In fact, his whole breakfast provides low and high GI carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

Ride snack

Two cereal bars
JH: I tend to take a couple of cereal bars in my pockets for emergencies or if I have some big efforts later on in the ride.

CW says: Cereal bars are a great little pick-me-up for when legs start to tire. Full of carbohydrates and with a high GI score, they provide an instant burst of energy, just when it’s needed.

Scrambled egg on toast.

JH: When it’s colder, especially on the longer rides, I’ll stop at the cafe for a snack. I often opt for scrambled eggs on toast; otherwise I’ll go for beans on toast. Maybe a cake as a treat.

Post-ride

CNP Pro Peptide followed by tuna and pasta

JH: When I get home I’ll have a good recovery drink. CNP Pro Peptide works for me. Sometimes, if I can be bothered, I’ll make a fruit smoothie with strawberries and banana and add the powder to that. Then I’ll have some real food, like tuna and pasta or rice; it’s quick and easy to make and gives me time to chill out until the evening.

CW says: Recovery drinks are very effective at getting protein into your system almost immediately, and ensuring you capitalise on the Golden Hour, the 60 minutes after exercise where your body is most receptive to carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and nutrients.

Josh then starts to focus on real foods, and his tuna and pasta dish will provide him with further carbohydrates and proteins. It’s always important to get real food into your system. Its wider nutritional profile means it’s better for you, and it’s more satiating and tastes better too.

Evening meal

Spaghetti Bolognaise and rice pudding
JH: Of an evening I eat just like any other healthy person. I’m a sucker for roast dinners, but that takes a bit of time. If my dinner hasn’t totally filled me up, then I’ll crack open some rice pudding, and that’s it, done.

CW says: It’s refreshing to see a professional cyclist eating ‘normal’ foods. You don’t have to deprive yourself of the tasty things in life, just because you ride a bike.

This meal will keep Josh’s energy stores topped up due to its pasta content as well as providing his muscles with a steady supply of protein, which comes from the mince. If he’s riding again the following day, his tank will be ready to fire.