For all you triathletes out there - here are my top 10 tips for good nutrition.
Keep a food log: for at least 3-5 days twice a year for a nutrition ‘reality check’. This will get your nutrition down to a tee – highlighting what you are missing or what you are going overboard on.
Eat a quality daily diet: a plate that is overflowing with fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important in meals before and after workouts.
Eat enough, starting with breakfast: performance starts with fuel, not training. Aim to eat breakfast 2-3 hours before your race to allow ample time to consume adequate calories and digest them before the race.
Practice meal planning: if high-quality foods are eaten at the wrong time, it can do your training more harm than good. An athlete should have some sort of nutrition approximately 1-3 hours before a training session.
Monitor your macronutrients: fuelling your body well is much more than just fruit and vegetables. It is crucial to give your body the right amount of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). The exact percentages of each will vary depending on what type of triathlete you are, but the rule of the thumb is roughly 45-65% of daily calories from carbohydrates, 15-20% from protein, and 20-35% from fat.
Keep hydrated: digestion, nutrient absorption, healthy skin, and optimal brain power all rely on adequate hydration. Its all about achieving the right balance of fluids and electrolytes.
Plan healthy snacks in advance: this will avoid any unwanted calories being consumed.
Avoid foods high in fat and fibre for both your pre-race dinner and morning-of breakfast to keep your gut happy throughout the race.
Practice consuming gel supplements during training: allows you to assess what supplements your stomach can digest and which you can implement into your race day strategy.
Recover Right: Consume 1-1.2g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight and 15-25g of protein within 30-60 minutes after training or races.