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Athlete Nutrition: 5 Diet Tips for Preparing for a Triathlon


Anyone who has ever been involved in an endurance sport knows that the physical training is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. After spending countless hours running, swimming, and biking, you need a world-class nutrition plan that is going to keep you fueled and healthy. Here is a closer look at some diet tips that will help you make the most out of your next triathlon.

Start a Food Log Immediately

Studies continue to show us that most people don’t know what nutrients they are consuming during each meal. The average adult also underestimates their caloric intake by 450 calories a day. Over the course of a few weeks, that can result in major energy fluctuations and weight changes. The only way to be absolutely sure of your diet is to start keeping a precise food log. Your log should include everything that you eat and drink throughout the day as well as portion sizes. It also needs to include condiments, treats, and midday snacks.

Practice Your Meal Timing

When you eat meals and snacks is often as important as what you eat. Eating just before a long run or bike ride can result in a wide variety of issues ranging from nausea to severe cramps. Being able to time your meals around your training schedule will maximize how many nutrients your body is able to absorb. You also need to start thinking about what you are going to eat on the day of the triathlon. Everyone has a slightly different digestive system, and you will most likely need to experiment with different foods until you find meals and snacks that don’t upset your stomach.

Tweak Your Macronutrients

Macronutrients perform many different functions, and you must find a good balance of these nutrients while you are training. The amount of protein, fats, and carbs that you eat throughout the day will have a huge impact on your weight, energy levels, endurance, mental clarity, and strength. As a general rule, those who are trying to cut weight will need to reduce their carbohydrate intake while increasing the amount of protein in their diet. Those who are having problems with their energy levels should increase their carbs until they find an equilibrium.

Dial in Your Hydration

Even being slightly dehydrated can have a major impact on your overall health and well-being. Those who are constantly dehydrated can’t absorb all of the vitamins and minerals in their diet, and that can lead to deficiencies. As you continue to train, you must find the perfect balance of water and electrolytes. Triathletes who drink too much water without consuming any electrolytes can develop a dangerous medical condition known as hyponatremia. Much like your diet, you will need to experiment with your water intake in the weeks leading up to your race in order to find the perfect balance.

Invest in Supplements

One of the most difficult aspects of being a triathlete is trying to consume enough vitamins and minerals each day. There may come a point in your training when the idea of eating more calories sounds completely impractical. In order to avoid deficiencies, you should consider taking a high-quality supplement. These supplements will provide you with some of the micronutrients you might not be getting from your diet such as magnesium, iron, and phosphorous. Supplements like Xyngular products are also useful if you lack energy in your training.

Completing in a triathlon is a serious physical challenge, and that is why you need to do everything in your power to keep yourself healthy. These few tips will keep you safe and energized in the months leading up to the big day, so that you’ll have a smooth and successful triathlon run.


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