To those in the know the name Nigel Mitchell (@Nuttynige) will be familiar. In the know might be a bit broader than usual here given Mitchell’s career to date including time at the English Institute of Sport, British Cycling, Team Sky and now of Cannondale Drapac with accompanying consultancy roles. I must admit a personal interest in this book as Nigel trained alongside my long term mentor Claire Harrison, I’ve seen him present at workshops and conferences a number of times and perhaps most importantly he’s also a Yorkshireman.
Fuelling the Cycling Revolution is a great read, covering a wide range of topics and is mainly pitched at the middle of the cycling market, namely those who want to improve their cycling but haven’t gone full blown MAMIL and spent a small fortune on a bike. Having said that the book is applicable to anyone, and I feel is of value to runners, swimmers and triathletes too. Fortunately ‘Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt’ it is not.
The book presents a logical flow through many cycling nutrition challenges and considerations, accompanied with rider testimony and simple, straightforward recipes that look great on the plate. I found the tone of the book much less academic than (m)any of its counterparts; whilst the science is still there in abundance, it is communicated through food and in accessible language. This is a major plus, and a hurdle all of us who dance along the line of applied practice and research should work harder to overcome.
The two biggest selling points come early on for me, and sit alongside Nigel’s reflections on his earlier career. The book contains a strong overview of gut health, an area of increasing interest in athletic circles (see this recent paper from BJSM) with the position of this chapter in the book hitting the importance of this topic home to the reader/rider. Simply, if you can’t digest optimally you’ll be fuelling sub optimally too. Secondly, the importance and use of protein is widely covered (see this paper on which Nigel was an author/ Researchgate); this is often lacking from endurance texts, with the spotlight solely shone on carbohydrate, and more recently fats regardless of your stance.
In short, I think this book has something for everyone, with a Kindle version available too it’s worth forgoing a couple of cappuccino on your next club rides to be better prepared nutritionally for your next sportive or TT.