My name is Sebastiaan Bennink a 33 year old lawyer from The Netherlands. I combine my career as a lawyer with cycling on a professional level and a passion for mountain climbing.
Sebastiaan is a member of the Vexx community. The Vexx team finds it important to give the consumer a voice. In this interview, Sebastiaan shares his Vexx experience and explains more about the role of nutrition in sports. Provided are nutrition tips and his personal experience as an elite athlete. What types of food does an elite athlete eat before an important race? Find out more!
Hi Sebastiaan, you are a lawyer as well as an elite cyclist. An interesting and unique combination that results in a busy lifestyle. What kind of effect does this have on your nutrition?
In order to combine all these activities, I have to carefully pay attention to what I eat. Per day I burn a lot of calories, so I need to provide my body with a steady supply of energy. I do this by eating large amounts of healthy food.
As a lawyer does it ever occur that you do not have time to eat healthy?
Actually not, I always schedule my agenda accordingly so I have the time to eat. I do not want to damage my own body and I know how important it is to eat properly.
Recently you have tried a Vexx Organic Health Shake what did you think?
I think it is an interesting addition to daily food.
In what type of situations would you use Vexx in the future?
As an addition to daily food in order to meet nutritional needs. In situations when I need that extra bit of food to get me energised.
In the past year, what were your peak moments when it comes to elite cycling?
Actually, I started cycling on elite-level quite late, before that cycling was just a passion. Now I also compete against full-time pros. The fact that I can combine my normal life with my cycling career is an absolute peak to me.
A proper balance between food and physical performance results in a better preparation, endurance and recovery after sport. How do you make sure as a cyclist that you receive the right nutrients?
Simply by consuming healthy food as well as the right amounts in a structured way.
How do you ensure a good balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)?
By carefully planning my diet.
Do you follow a specific meal plan as preparation for an important competition?
Not really, but I do often eat a pasta or rice dish just before a competition. Sometimes it’s also good to just listen to your body and eat what it demands in that moment of time. Basically to just eat what feels good.
After exercising it is important to take some rest and eat the right food for optimal recovery. How do you make sure you receive the right amount of carbohydrates and protein to maintain muscle tissue?
I eat a lot of extra protein and carbohydrates in whichever shape possible. Eggs, pasta, yoghurt and so on.
What types of food do you avoid and why?
French fries and pizza are of course foods that I do not eat on a daily basis. But I do not see the harm in eating those type of foods once in a while. I do not eat shellfish or other types of food that could possibly make me sick just before a competition.
How do you mentally prepare for a competition?
Music is the answer, listening to a good record can do miracles.
Do you have any last tips for athletes who want to perform at an elite level?
Take care of your body, plan your rest moments and prioritise. Focus on the things that you want to focus on and dedicate yourself 100 %. With the right commitment, the right training and mental focus a lot of wonderful things can happen.
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