Cycling Secret: Durian Fruit the New Super Food?

It is a stinky putrid smelling fruit. I’ve always steered clear of this fruit despite friends on numerous occasions trying to convert me to eating Durian. Last year, I had a flat-mate from Canada who loved the spiky fruit and would bring it home; I would instantly know it was around, even though it was put out in the laundry room. The smell just pervades the whole apartment. I was offered to try it but never could get past the evil smell. I did try it and was pleasantly surprised at the sweet creamy taste of the fruit, however it did leave a slight after taste.  My wife also tried to convert me (she was an early convert) by coating  small chunks of durian in chocolate. That was not a good mix at all and I was eating the chocolate shell off the fruit and leaving the rest of the durian.

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I have a friend who was motivated to start riding again and on a visit to Hangzhou one weekend, we were out riding together. We stopped at a fruit stand and I got a couple of bananas while he got a big piece of that juicy smelly durian! I could not believe my eyes that he was so crazy about it; his eyes just bulged out of their sockets as he gorged into the fruit. He claimed it was the best fruit ever for riding. It gave him energy and it was healthy. He also professed to say he could ride all day on the ‘super fruit’. He was raving all about it.  I was not convinced and just stuck to eating bananas and some snickers.

This was when the seed was planted though.  Could the Durian fruit possibly be the new super fruit for cyclists?  My friend Aref was convinced of this as was my flat-mate. My wife was already eating the fruit and loving it. I just could not get past that putrid smell. Its the smell that bans it from entering hotels in Asia!

I did some research online to find out more about this ‘super fruit’ and sure enough I found information that justified Aref’s claim.

The facts about Durian:

  • Durian is full of Vitamins B, C and E and also has a good amount of Iron.
  • Durian is a stimulant (like coffee) – which explains why Aref loves it so much. It actually fuels him and gives him the much needed energy boost to keep riding.
  • It has a high raw fat content (like avocado) and this makes the durian have the “cream cheese” texture flavor.  It has a high calorie count, one average sized Durian weighing 1kg has almost 1,350 calories so if you eat one, you can consume more than half your daily 2,000 calories recommended for a normal adult. So, if you can get beyond the smell, eating durian is all you need during an epic cycling ride. Aref says he can ride all day just on durian. He is probably right.  If you don’t cycle and eat durian, you need to be extra careful as you could gain weight!
  • The high carbohydrate content of Durians replenish low energy levels quickly (supporting my friend’s claim) and its readily available in Asia.
  • Durian also has high potassium levels, and this can help reduce fatigue and relieve mental stress and anxiety.
  • Durian is excellent for improving muscle strength, blood pressure, your bowel movements and improving your skin health.
  • Durian also enhances your red blood cell formation and boosts your immune system. It might just as well be your legal means to doping and gaining an unfair advantage over your fellow competitors. Maybe its better to keep your durian diet a secret. Its your secret weapon to success on the bike.

    Summary of the Health benefits 

  • Increase Immunity
  • Cure Anemia
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Improve Sleep quality
  • Maintain Blood pressure
  • Fight Free radicals
  • Improves Digestion
  • Slow down the Ageing effect, stay young and energetic for longer!
  • Protection from cancer

So, despite the putrid smell of this fruit, I have finally become a convert. Aref would take much pleasure in this. He tried so hard to convince me. I was skeptical for a long time. I even bought a box of Durian snack bars on a recent trip to the Philippines and eat these on my rides. I also embrace eating the real durian fruit when my wife brings it home and even seek it out in the supermarket. If you ever wonder why my cycling performance in 2014 has improved considerably, you’ll know my secret! Don’t tell anyone about it, especially those riders that are winning all the time in Asia. We would not be able to catch up otherwise!

I’m now trying to convert my new flat-mate, Ian, who has recently taken up cycling as a result of inspiration from coming out on a couple of training rides with us. He was a fixie rider before and could not believe the speed we could achieve on the bikes. How do we keep up this super-human speed, he asks. The empathic answer is the super fruit durian! It did not take him long to try the fruit and he commented, ‘despite the bad smell, it was surprising to quickly get beyond it and enjoy the sweet creamy taste.’

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