Triathlon Nutrition Made Easy
Keep in mind that nutrition for triathlon, like other diet plans, are highly individualized. Some that work well for others may not be as beneficial for you.
Indeed, there are certain basic rules that apply, however, in the end it comes down to your own personal preferences and experimentation.
Furthermore, this is an unending process of tweaking the variables. Plus something that worked well for you in the past may no longer have the same effect. I used to love to take a bunch of caffeine before a workout; now it just gives me a headache and makes me feel sick.
We are not so much talking about race day triathlon nutrition as how to eat during training—or really, how to eat day-to-day for a healthy body.
If you are looking for triathlon nutrition on race day, click here.
I’ve studied health and nutrition for many years now, and quite honestly, have concluded that a healthy diet for a non-athlete in not all that much different from a triathlete’s diet, with the exception of more quantity to compensate for calorie expenditure resulting in training.
- Eat tons of fruits and vegetables. I’m not your mother so I won’t tell you that vegetable with make you stronger. Besides, you should know that by now. The main reason you need to be eating tons of fruits and veggies as a triathlete nutrition is because they are the only foods with ample amounts of the macro nutrients to 1) keep your organs functioning optimally, 2) rebuild your joint tissue, and 3) protect your cells from the free radical damage associated with endurance training.
- Eat whole foods. Do the majority of your shopping in the fresh departments (produce, meats, dairy, bulk grains) at your grocery store and stay away from all the processed and packaged crap food. Take in carb sources that are still natural and whole, not processed, refined and white.
- Eat 5-6 evenly spaced meals throughout the day. You’ll find that training and recovery are much easier and more manageable than if you eat bigger meals less often. Plus, I maintain that you will feel lighter and less sluggish, and also this is one of the easiest ways to increase your metabolism so that you will burn more fat throughout the day. Not a bad perk!
- Drink lots and lots of pure water. It has to be pure (please not tap water), and it has to be a lot. I mean really chug it. Avoid soda (diet or not) and sugary juice drinks altogether, and save the alcoholic beverages for special occasions.
- Have a recovery meal shortly after training. More and more studies have shown the important benefits of eating directly after training. Consume good quality carbs, some protein and fats, don’t forget your greens, and rehydrate with pure water. An easy way, and one of my personal favorites, is to make a smoothie with some protein mix, fresh fruit, flax-seed or wheat bran, and maybe even some greens like baby spinach.
For most people, especially athletes, it doesn’t take much convincing that there is a close connection between eating right and performing well. The problem is, however, doing what you know is right instead of succumbing to the convenience of fast food or breaking down with your favorite craving and cheating.
“Bring it back to whole, healthy foods for your triathlon diet and nutrition plan“
Fuel your body for optimal performance with a good triathlete diet, train hard, and then try to tell me it’s not worth it. It will be, I assure you.
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