The diet of a triathlete is crucial to be successful and win races. Nutritional considerations are viewed through one perspective – the individual. Because, they are already in tune with their bodies, understanding the foods that fuel their performance is something they have tracked during their career. This is especially true for triathlon nutrition plans.
Here is a pre-race checklist of tips for you to consider.
- Salt intake is an important factor in the nutritional plan, especially during training and competition. This does not alleviate consideration for your overall salt intake. It’s important to know when to make adjustments.
- Supplements and vitamins are also included on the nutritional checklist. Again, this is a very individual formula for each triathlete. There are always supplements and vitamins being introduced that enhance performance and keep you healthy.
- Calorie intake is next on the checklist. It is important for the individual to know their calorie load whether training, in competition or when you are not in either mode. Not consuming enough calories will affect your muscle mass and lead to injury. This is where working with a sports nutritionist can reap huge benefits.
- How much and how often round out the top of the list. How much and how often you consume your nutritional plan affects performance. This is paramount before the race. Again, this is individual based. The best rule of thumb is to engage in practices that demonstrate benefits for you.
There is another nutritional tip that needs to be addressed. We are aware of the food pyramid but triathlon nutrition requires a degree of diligence and expertise. There needs to be clarity in what each group delivers to the body during three phases – training, competition and down days. For example, eating foods that have a denser nutrient value makes every bite count in maximizing your performance. Potatoes, eggs, nuts and milk are examples from each food building block. As stated in an article on Livestrong, “Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned athlete, eating properly before a sprint distance triathlon can help optimize performance.” All triathletes have a pre-race diet and meal. Once you find what works then stick with.
Of course, don’t be afraid to tweak your triathlon nutrition plan over time. Age is one factor that will require it. Finally, always stay informed about the latest nutritional tip which could be the difference between a run and a win.