A Bulk Nutrients Ambassador, cycling superstar and the R&D guru here at Bulk Nutrients; Nicole does it all.
Nicole competes in competitive road cycling, racing in the National Road Series throughout the year and is a High-Performance Scholarship holder with the Tasmanian Institute of Sport. Nicole’s cycling career has already taken her all over Australia and even to Belgium to compete against the best.
As mentioned in the intro, I am a competitive road cyclist racing all over Australia and even overseas. I took up cycling just two years ago, but I have always held an active lifestyle playing soccer, having a small stint in triathlons and always heading to the gym. I am naturally quite competitive, so it only made sense that just riding a bike wasn’t going to be enough and I started racing.
Some of my highlights since I started riding have been travelling to Belgium, taking out second place at Oceania’s Individual Time Trial and finishing my first ever Road Nationals event.
Racing isn’t the only thing that keeps me busy though. I also work full time with Bulk Nutrients, while studying part-time by correspondence my Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition.
My role with Bulk Nutrients means not only do I get to help create the awesome range, but I also make the blog recipes every Friday (the staff love and hate me for it).
Hopefully, you find some of my training, treat and product suggestions to be helpful!
All the products I recommend from Bulk Nutrients are geared around endurance sports with a focus on clean carbs and fast recovery.
Why I love it: I'm all about the taste. BCAA Recovery's taste in crisp Lemonade helps me consume enough water in my day and it helps my recovery and prevents cramping.
How I use it: A single serve in 500-600mls of properly cold water. I recommend dedicating a bottle to your aminos as flavours can stain the plastic.
Why I love it: I prefer not to consume a lot of dairy so Salted Caramel Earth Protein is perfect as my choice of protein powder. Protein powder is great for post-workout, muscle recovery and lean muscle growth.
How I use it: Usually just with water in a shaker, although I love adding it to fruity smoothies too!
Why I love it: As a cyclist I am regularly completing long rides so taking extra carbs can help boost my stamina. I like to eat and drink my carbs during a ride so Carb+ is my go-to.
How I use it: I add it to my drink bottle with BCAA Recovery.
Why I love it: When I’m having trouble sleeping or in a big training block, I love taking ZMA to help me sleep and recover. Once I take this I’m out like a light.
How I use it: One capsule before bed!
Rides might be certain to power so I might aim to hit a certain wattage for a period of time, sprints for 10-30sec with minimal recovery if I have racing coming up or strength efforts which can be longer climbs and a low cadence like 50-60rpe which builds power.
I have recently started to nail down my diet a bit in the lead up to nationals. This means I have tried to control my snacking by cutting them out. For me, it's too easy to go from one spoon of peanut butter to five! So I am trying to stick to having three more solid meals.
In terms of food choices, I eat a pescatarian diet which is mostly full of vegetarian foods as well as eggs and seafood (I love seafood!). I made this change about two years ago now and I love the way I feel on a veggie-based diet. I eat some dairy such as yoghurt because I like the added probiotics but choose almond milk over dairy or soy. I also eat on the bike, if it’s more than a two-hour ride. This might be a banana or a muesli bar.
When I train, I try to control my carbohydrate intake to around my training times. So if I train in the afternoon, I eat most of my daily carb intake at lunch and dinner. Breakfast still has some, but not as much.
I try to meal prep because I juggle uni, work and cycling I like to have meals in my freezer, but these can be stir-fries, risottos, soup, satay etc ready to defrost. I might prep these once a fortnight and freeze them to keep me going. I aim for simple one-pot meal options. I also love salads in the summer but full of rice and colour.
In terms of cheat meals, I don’t tend to plan for them so much, but rather have one when I crave it. Thankfully after a weekend of riding my bike for ten hours, I have made room for a cheat meal allowance, so I don’t think about it much. If I want pasta or cake I have it! I can’t really afford to run on a deficit for long, as my training will take a massive nosedive. So if I want it, my body obviously needs it and I will indulge.
What is my average daily calorie intake? Around 2,500
Foods I crave... Coffee! I am very used to starting my day like this and can experience withdrawals if I don’t have them. Dairy sometimes, like chocolate or milo milk, or creamy pasta or oddly orange juice. I find these cravings can come from either a restriction (maybe I have avoided carbs) or dehydration!
My ultimate cheat meal is... Creamy pasta - It’s rich, carby and yum
300 grams Tamar Valley Greek yogurt or Chobani with 50g toasted muesli and fruit either; 1/2 mango, 50g mixed berries or 1 small banana
My lunch meals are usually something like:
Usually one of my lunch options!
Do you have any medium/long term goals you're working towards?
Selection into the summer cycling series including; Tour Down Under, Herald Sun Tour and Cadel Evans Tour Podium at Nationals 2020 Podium at Oceania's 2020 RR and ITT World's Women's Race Team selection
Have you had any exceptional results (in competitions or otherwise) in the last few years? Let us know what they are!
2022 Australian Elite Women’s National Road Champion
2022 Santos Festival of Cycling 2nd General Classification (2x 3rd place stages, 1x 2nd place)
63rd Paris Roubaix UCI WWT
2021 Australian National Elite Women’s Time Trial 3rd