Team Qhubeka ASSOS combines nutritional science with a human touch to enable optimised performance
Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com) is delighted to confirm the appointment of leading food scientist Dr. Samefko Ludidi, as the team’s official nutrition consultant for the upcoming season.
Although high performance endurance sports – especially cycling – are often thought of as something that has much to do with precision work and the calculation of food portions down to the milligram, Team Qhubeka ASSOS will seek to highlight a different approach in its nutrition strategy: a more humane one.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ludidi, the nutritional policy of the entire team will be optimized in the coming months. Ludidi, who is known for his down-to-earth and human approach to food (no calorie or nutrient counting and much greater attention paid to the social aspects of food, such as food taste and deliciousness), breaks with the strict scientific and calculated ‘beta’ approach that currently predominates many elite sporting environments.
Douglas Ryder, Team Principal: “The world in which we work is demanding and athletes experience a lot of pressure from all sides. The current food trend in cycling contributes to this. Athletes are measured from A to Z, both under controlled conditions in the lab, and also now “live” in the field. This goes from measuring wattages to blood sugar values to the composition and amount of everything that riders eat and drink. There is so much emphasis on performance and performance optimization that we sometimes get lost in numbers and treat people almost like robots. That is not always favorable for the riders and their performance and that does not fit in with our Ubuntu philosophy, which focuses very strongly on the human factor. We are therefore pleased that we are now joining forces with Dr. Ludidi and his team.“
As Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour team, the collaboration with Ludidi is not entirely coincidental: he has South African roots, as the son of a South African. In the long term, joining forces will not only serve the professional cycling world, but also the broader cycling community, as well as society at large.
Dr. Ludidi: “So much new knowledge arises with each new strategy and technology that is implemented. We believe it is important that the knowledge that we generate and that we are able to test is made accessible to the outside world. We get paid to compete at the highest level in perhaps the most beautiful sport in the world, so I believe that it is our duty to our fans that we share everything we learn there in the cycling world with the rest of the world. So that anyone can benefit from it, both as an amateur or recreational athlete, but also as a person. After all, health is something that affects us all.“
The arrival of Dr. Ludidi at Team Qhubeka ASSOS also offers opportunities for the educational branch of the Qhubeka Charity which uses the bicycle to facilitate better living, learning and working conditions and health.
Ludidi will be assisted in his work by Daan Hoogervorst, who is responsible for establishing the national nutritional guidelines for sports dietetics in the Netherlands.