The Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Race takes place on Sunday 11 March 2012 and cyclists have been training vigorously on the Cape Point Route in preparation for the big day. Nutrition is as much a part of that preparation as getting cycle training. For many cyclists that involves carbo-loading. Carbohydrate loading is a “fuelling strategy”, which is a technique used to increase the glycogen stored in muscles. Muscles use the glycogen for fuel and can improve performance during a long race by 2-3 percent.
Whilst the theory remains a little controversial, the general consensus is that carbo-loading can help endurance during a race lasting 90 minutes or longer. Carbo-loading traditionally starts two days before the race. Rest during these two days allows your muscles to build up plenty of glycogen stores when you consume the proper amount of carbs. When you carbo-load, you should eat about 10 grams of carbs per kg of body weight daily in the two days leading up to race day. You won’t need as much protein as usual because you won’t be breaking down those muscles. Don’t go and eat a massive bowl of pasta the night before a race and expect a miracle to happen!
Most athletes know that good sources of carbohydrates are bread and pasta! Here are some other great carbohydrate-rich food sources:
- Starches: bread, pasta, rice, cereal, bagel, oatmeal, pancake, English muffin, tortilla, couscous, low-fat muffin, gnocchi, polenta and quinoa
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, peas, pumpkin, squash, beans and lentils
- Fruit: bananas, apples, peaches, pears, pineapple, oranges, cherries, mango, kiwi, any form of dried fruit, canned fruit
- Dairy: flavoured low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt
- Snacks: pretzels, low-fat granola bar, low-fat crackers, baked chips, sports bars/energy bars
- Beverages: flavoured low-fat milk, juice, sports drink, low-fat smoothies
So if you are in Cape Town for the 2012 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour race and need to carbo-load, here is our selection of best spots to eat pasta and carbo-loading meals on the Cape Point Route.
Cafe Roux: Noordhoek Farm Village
PRE- Argus Carbo Load Pasta Special: What a winner at this delightful café, restaurant in Noordhoek. They are offering a hearty bowl of Spaghetti Bolognaise or Tagliatelle Carbonara (R76 each) which is available on Friday night Braai night (9March) with live acoustic music and also for Saturday lunch from 12 – 3:30pm (10March). Tel: 021 789 2538. Read on for the Carbs for Kitty Pre-Argus Fundraising Function.
Blue Water Cafe: Imhoff Farm
Pasta and pizza are perfect carbo loading foods. Blue Water Cafe has a range of pastas from Spinach and ricotta ravioli to a wild mushroom carbonara and a to-die-for farm beef lasagne. A personal favourite is the Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta and there is a daily chef’s choice on the black board. Blue Water Cafe pizzas are legendary and served on a thin crispy base. Call 021 783 2007 or click here to see the full menu.
Fish Hoek Galley: Fish Hoek Beach
Whilst the Galley itself is renowned for their seafood – at Drifter’s Take-away they offer take-away Baked Potatoes and substantial pasta meals for under R40. Next door at the Beachcomber Bistro you can carbo-load on Baked potatoes with a variety of toppings, Neapolitan Herb Sauce and Chicken Mushroom Pasta Specialities or even toasted sandwiches and savoury pancakes. Call 021 782 3354 or click here for more.
De Noordhoek Hotel: Noordhoek Farm Village
The hotel has opened its’ restaurant and offers an a la carte dinner from Wednesday – Saturday as well as lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Being an eco-friendly hotel, the restaurant ethic is in keeping with the trend only offering healthy and sustainable food items. Their Basil Pesto Pasta is a low GI spaghetti served with basil pesto and Parmesan shavings. Simple, delicious and about as healthy as you can get before your race! Call 021 789 2760 or email email@example.com to book your table.
Bertha’s Restaurant: Simon’s Town
Set on the water’s edge at Simon’s Town harbour, Bertha’s Restaurant has an extensive menu including some great carbo-loading meals. Their pasta dishes include the North African Chicken Pasta (with spicy chicken strips!); Gnocchi and a Roast Vegetable Pasta (to which you can add bacon or Golden Calamari rings if you’re not a vegetarian)… and all with a gorgeous sea view. Call 021 786 2138 or click here to read more.
Sophea Gallery and Tibetan Tea-House: Simon’s Town
This welcoming vegetarian and vegan food restaurant offers some interesting alternatives to the traditional pasta carbo-loading fare. They are open from Tuesday – Sunday from 10am to 5pm so stop by and taste the Kopan Monastery Butternut Soup or the Sherpa Stew, which is made with lentil balls on mash. The Himalayan Black-eyed Bean Casserole is loaded with beans, potatoes and carrots and served on brown rice. Traditional Dahl Baht is on offer as well as a Nepalese sweet potato and pea curry called Sakarkhanda Ko Tarkari. Call 021 786 1544 or click here to read more.
Cafe Pescado: Simon’s Town
It’s almost impossible to compile a list of good pasta restaurants without including Cafe Pescado in Simon’s Town. They have one of the most extensive range of pasta dishes in the south peninsula. Puttanesca, Marinare, Smoked Salmon, Roquefort, Napolitano, Alfredo, Lasagne and Pasta Al Forne are served up with penne or tagliatelle. Cafe Pescado is opposite Jubilee Square in the old Criterion Cinema. Call 021 786 2272 or click here to read more.
The Toad in the Village: Noordhoek Farm Village
Toadie is a big cycling fan and is very pedantic about his carbo-loading. Pop into the Toad at Noordhoek Farm Village and see if you can find Ronald Mustafa Ponsenby McGraff tucking into a big Spagbol or Alfredo pasta dish. Pizza is his favourite meal though so he may be ordering thin based pizzas instead of a traditional bowl of delicious pasta. See if you can spot the Toad in this picture! Call 021 789 2973 Click here to read more…
K’s for Kitty:
Finally we leave you with an opportunity to do good and feel good and support a little girl called KITTY. Kitty is a bright 4-year old with Cerebral Palsy following a birth trauma. Her parents will be riding this year’s Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour to raise funds to purchase an “eye gaze computer” which is a hugely expensive piece of equipment with will help give Kitty a voice and be able to communicate using the device. Essentially the computer will “speak” the sentences Kitty constructs with her eyes. Debbie and Simon are still looking for donations for each kilometre they ride hence the K’s for Kitty campaign.
They also have a fundraiser on Thursday 8th March 2012: CARBS FOR KITTY, which will be hosted by Cafe Roux from 6pm. Choice of 3 Pasta Mains, Salads, breads and dessert for just R150 per adult and R50 per child. It’s a fun family evening and an excellent carbo loading event for an excellent cause. Call Debbie Scarboro on 072 438 9648 or Cafe Roux on 021 789 2538.
Read our blog on the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour HERE and watch this blog for information on Road closures, which is coming soon to help you plan your viewing and your travel arrangements.
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