"The composition of the bars and gels in combination with the product innovations proves that Innerme is made to get the best out of yourself, regardless of your athletic level. The role Innerme played in achieving my results over the past 5 years should not be underestimated."
Top mountain biker and 'early adopter' Frans Claes was an Innerme athlete over the past 5 years. Together we look back on this period and the role nutrition played in his evolution as an athlete. He talks about his choice for a plant-based lifestyle, finding the balance between work and play as a top athlete. Frans also shares nutritional advice that you can apply during your training and competitions.
Victory BEMC 2023
"After 7 participations, I finally won! The confirmation that I can also win Ardennes competitions at an international level feels great. The victory wasn't a lucky shot. During the opening time trial I lost 25 seconds after chain problems. Still, I won the time trial, which gave me a lot of confidence. In stage 1 and stage 2 I was constantly taken under fire, but thanks to my terrain knowledge and my experience I was able to increase my lead to more than 5 minutes. In the last stage I was at the end of my strength, but there too I was able to use my experience. Ultimately I was in control and able to win the race."
"Nutrition is crucial in a stage race. From early morning to late evening you're busy eating both on and off the bike. Before each stage and after breakfast, I load up on isotonic drinks. During the race I take one gel every half hour and I alternate between the different flavors 'fast' and 'endurance'. During stage races, with the exception of the last stage, I do not take caffeine gels. The enables me to save this boost for when it is really needed. After each stage hydration is crucial. This is when the combination of an isotonic drink and protein mix is ideal."
Mindset, pressure and balance
"I've learned not to get influenced by outside expectations. Setting my own goals provides peace of mind. There may and should be pressure, but the sometimes unrealistic expectations have a negative effect on my performance.
Computer games help me to clear my mind. It's just amazing to be in a completely different world for a while. Following other sports such as basketball, skiing and cycling also helps me to relax. And just like many cyclists, I love coffee. Making my own cappuccino calms me down."
Vegan way of life
"With a bachelor's degree in Environmental Management, I am very aware of the influence of livestock on the climate. Combine that with famines in other parts of the world and animal welfare... a plant-based lifestyle became an obvious choice.
Health was not a consideration back then. Now I know better! I am convinced that my plant-based lifestyle has an impact on my level as an athlete and my long-term health. My results are constantly improving and for sure my diet plays a role in this progression. Do know though that even when adopting a vegan lifestyle, there are certain rules to follow: eat varied, local, seasonal, organic and inform yourself sufficiently."
Collaboration with Innerme
"The choice for Innerme was obvious. The pure product, the full plant-based range and the 100% organic ingredients were the elements that immediately convinced me to collaborate. The composition of the bars and gels in combination with the product innovations proves that Innerme is made to get the best out of yourself, regardless of your athletic level. The role Innerme played in achieving my results over the past 5 years should not be underestimated."
Photo: Marcelo Rypl