Callum Skinner's food habits - what it takes to be an Olympic cyclist


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Callum Skinner's food habits - what it takes to be an Olympic cyclist

05 August 2016 / 16:30
With the Olympic Games upon us, final preparation is in full swing as Team GB’s athletes look to be at their performance peak come game day.

No aspect of preparation is more vital that what an athlete eats and drinks, so we sat down with the stars of Team GB to find out what fuels them.

This time it’s 23-year-old track cyclist Callum Skinner.

To find out more about Callum visit his profile.

The 2014 European gold medallist competes in velodromes all over the world, but when he’s at home, what’s in his shopping basket?

The Scot will race alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny in the team sprint in Rio, and tells us what has fuelled him to World Cup success, as well as four national titles.

A regular breakfast would be a half-cup of porridge, and I’d chuck some frozen berries in there – quite a few raspberries and blueberries.

You heat it up and it turns into this multi-coloured bowl of goodness.

Then I’d have six eggs along with that, scrambled of course.


Lunch would depend on what is in the fridge a lot of the time. As long as I get the basics in there, the protein and not so carb-heavy, not too heavy on fats, then I’m generally pretty happy.

I’m not one that tends to plan meals well in advance.


I usually rotate between a healthy chilli con carne, some oily fish such as salmon, or chicken with rice or pasta.

They’re all really simple, really easy, you can do them when you’re tired after training.

Training snacks:

I do like yoghurt, I’m a big yoghurt fiend and I do chuck in some jam every now and again, if it’s getting a bit plain.

No single path to success:

As in all walks of life – as Jason Kenny has shown in his career - there is not just one collective way to do things with nutrition. As long as I get the basic elements in, then I and my coaches are happy.

If we get the results we are looking for in our body fat tests, body composition tests, then that is what we aim for – it’s just about staying focussed and staying away from the junk.

Eating for competition:

Weight is a big part of the team sprint, because you have to get away from the line quickly. So towards competition we will tend to trim down a bit.

We eat enough to still perform to our best, but not so much that you’ve got ‘meat legs’, we’re not overeating.

In training you will have a few more carbs to get through the workload.

Guilty pleasure:

It really varies. I am a big sweet man. I do like donuts, biscuits, cookies, brownies, but then I also like barbecue stuff too.

Burgers and pulled pork are great, then macaroni and cheese too, which is really heavy but really good too.

Fantasy dinner party:

Nick Cummins, the Australian rugby player, he just seems really funny and as mad as a box of frogs.

I guess Barack Obama too, I’d like to see what he’s about.

Then finally someone from Formula One, maybe Mark Webber, someone who has really got an inside knowledge on it.

With sport, a lot of the stuff that comes out in the press is just scratching the surface. You don’t know how deep it goes and I just love speaking to athletes and tapping into their knowledge.

Callum in the kitchen – a dinner party for one:

I’d have to have Obama as my one and I’d cook him some lovely salmon – I guess it’s my signature dish but it’s not that great!

Sportsbeat 2016