Members of the Great Britain Cycling Team will consume around 8,000 meals between Olympic or Paralympic Games. The four years which separate Games see a meticulous amount of preparation go into every aspect of an athlete’s life, and their nutrition is no different.
Lauren Delany is the Great Britain Cycling Team’s performance nutritionist. She helps to ensure that those 8,000 meals help our riders to fuel and recover effectively, maximise training adaptations and reduce illness and injury through nutrition and food.
“I work with the sprint and BMX athletes on both the able bodied and para squads. On a day-to-day basis, I could be interacting with athletes to evoke behaviour change through one-to-one consultations, developing meal plans, hosting cooking sessions and undertaking body composition analysis.
“There’s also the behind the scenes role of a nutritionist, which includes tasks such as liaising with our current nutrition supplier, SiS, to develop bespoke products for athletes, producing a range of nutrition resources, or liaising with hotels and catering staff ahead of athletes travelling on camp and to competitions to ensure the ideal food is provided.
“No two days are the same in terms of what I work on. I love the practical side of the job - leading cooking workshops with athletes and teaching everything from the basic kitchen skills to creating your own recipes and flavour combinations.
“I help the athletes unleash the power of food through influencing the 8,000 meals they eat during the Olympic cycle.”
An active background has seen Lauren represent her country at basketball and her region at rugby, as well as work with a host of other governing bodies in a professional capacity before she secured her role with British Cycling in 2015.
“Before I joined British Cycling I used to watch the Tour de France and the cycling events at the Olympics on TV, but other than that it was not a big part of my life. I got into the sport when I joined the Great Britain Cycling Team and now love the sport and all disciplines.
“My main highlight of working for the Great Britain Cycling Team has to be supporting the athletes in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Rio and watching all the athletes perform so well and achieve their goals.”