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Meat-eating cyclists wanted for study looking into the performance benefits of vegetarianism

Does a vegetarian diet confer some performance advantage?

Researchers are looking to recruit volunteers for a study examining whether a vegetarian diet offers any advantage over a mixed diet when it comes to cycling performance. However, vegetarians need not apply – only ten more volunteers are needed, all of which will be required to eat the prescribed ‘mixed diet’.

The study is being carried out by a team at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). They are looking for men aged 20-39, who have been cycling for more than three years, who cycle for one hour three or four times a week and who eat what is described as a mixed diet (vegetables, meat, dairy).

Participants will be required to follow a prescribed diet and attend QMUL three times. Each visit will be approximately two weeks apart and will involve a time trial where the cyclist will expend 500 kilocalories. If you take part, you will get a detailed report on your performance, including analysis of carbohydrate, protein and fat utilisation during each ride.

Researcher, Dondorebarwe Sakutombo, explains the motivation for the project.

“There are a lot of ramblings and claims in the rumour mill and media that a vegetarian diet confers some performance advantage. However, on a thorough search of the literature there are no scientific rigorous studies to back these up, therefore I seek to attempt to address this question with a scientific approach and let the results speak for themselves.”

For more details, you can get in touch with Dondo at d.n.j.sakutombo [at] He plans on presenting his findings at a conference in September. 

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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