Like all sports and physical pursuits, triathlon training should be paired with a very specific diet and a well-controlled everyday eating regime. You can’t after all expect to get the most out of your body if you don’t put in the right fuel in the first place – rule number one for any athlete looking to go pro.
So, with this in mind, here’s a quick five-point guide to triathlon nutrition for those looking to step up their games and reach a higher level:
1 – Give Refined Foods a Miss
While refined foods will give your body an energy kick, it’s not the kind of energy release you need for triathlon training or competition. The reason being that the energy in refined foods is delivered and absorbed far too quickly – perfect for a sprint, but not what you need for a marathon…so to speak. Worse still, refined foods have been linked with joint and muscle inflammation, along with a higher risk of suffering strains and sprains before, during and after training.
2 – Eat Often, Eat Early
A whole encyclopaedia of research over the years has brought about the conclusion that the foods you eat earlier in the day are far more likely to be used as fuel by the body, as opposed to being stored as fat. As such, the rather common habit of skipping breakfast and overeating later in the day is to be avoided at all costs. In addition, it’s also a good idea to eat smaller meals throughout the day and at frequent intervals – the trick being never to allow yourself to get too hungry or too full.
3 – Maintain Balance
It doesn’t take a genius these days to understand the importance of a balanced diet, though for those looking to get the very most out of their bodies there’s much to be said for keeping an even closer eye on what goes in. Proteins, fats, carbs sugars and so on must all be meticulously balanced – junk food and anything not of direct benefit being avoided entirely.
4 – Increase Vegetable and Fruit Intake
There is so much in every portion of fruit or vegetables that’s good for your body, it’s almost impossible to get too much of either…within reason, of course. Upping your intake of both is therefore a good idea, but this doesn’t mean you can substitute whole fruits and vegetables for juices and smoothies – bad idea all-round!
5 – Drink More Water All Day Long
Last but not least, the importance of getting enough water into your body also cannot be overstated, though there is in fact a right and a wrong way of going about it. It’s all-too common for some people to wait until they are practically dying of thirst before downing gallons of water – the result of which being a complete internal wash-out of all manner of vital nutrients. Like eating, you need to get into the habit of drinking little, often and pretty much constantly throughout the day.