Keeping cool when you’re working out is essential, and in extreme heat, the right nutrition has a major impact on how you perform. But former race pro Marcel Wüst learned early on in life that it isn’t always cool to be cool:
The Herald Sun Tour in Australia included a time trial over about 40 kilometres, from Apollo Bay to Lorne. Being a sprinter, I wasn’t all that ambitious about the overall standings, even though I already had two stage wins under my belt. So I decided to take the day in my stride.
Before the starting pistol had even been fired, the sun was already beating down. The temperatures Down Under were searing. I desperately wanted to cool myself down – preferably from the inside! An ice-cold milkshake, thick as a soft ice cream, was bound to do the job. The weather was incredibly hot, so I decided large would be the way to go, which can easily mean 750 ml down in Aussie-land. With fifteen minutes left before the race, a large vanilla-caramel-banana shake was just what I needed – or so I thought, at least, at the tender age of 24! As soon as I took my first gulp, my brain immediately froze up – a first sign that the idea wasn’t so great after all. Getting the shake down me at all was quite a struggle, and the whole time I was out on the road, it kept trying to come back up again!
Owing to the circumstances, I certainly wasn’t riding very fast and ended up virtually bringing up the rear of the field. The fact that I didn’t come in last of all was only because there was one rider who had two punctures during the race. Breathtaking as the landscapes of Australia were, they did little to relieve the cramps I was experiencing for the whole 40 kilometres.
The greatest achievement of the day was having drunk that thing in the first place and managed to keep it down despite its objections.