Triathlon Training Nutrition Guide
Your diet can make or break your triathlon goals. Learn how to fuel your training—and get better race-day results.
Fill Up Your Engine
Eat lower fiber carbohydrates and a small amount of protein to help stabilize your blood sugar despite skimping on fiber. A slice of plain toast with peanut butter, smoothie, pulp-free juice, yogurt, mango, or PureFit nutrition bar can all be part of a great pre-race breakfast, Mueller says Don’t eat less than two hours before race time to prevent your digestive system from competing with the rest of your body for oxygen; it takes at least one hour to process every 200 to 300 calories you consume, she says.
Stay Focused on Your Plan
Now is not the time to take an interest in improv. Execute everything—from your breakfast to your mid-race gel packs—just as you wrote them down in your training log a month ago, Mueller says. And no matter how eager you are to cross the finish line, don’t skip water pit stops. Not drinking enough water is the biggest nutritional mistake that triathletes make. Dehydration can lead to cramping, headaches, dizziness, and nausea, all of which can slow you down more than grabbing a cup from the sidelines, she says.
Refuel and Replenish
Despite the urge to head straight for the beer garden, your first line of liquid nutrition should be alcohol free. While the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight immediately after the race, it’s best to get the bulk of those carbs from a smoothie or sports drink so that you also replenish fluids. No matter how much water you drink during the race, you will be slightly dehydrated when you cross the finish line, Mueller says. They can also help to replenish sodium that you’ve sweated out.