Success in triathlon competitions depends on several factors, and triathlon nutrition may be the most crucial. Triathlons are an athletic contest of three successive events, which include, swimming, cycling and running over various distances. It is a strenuous activity that requires the consumption of a healthy diet. Most athletes do not realize the importance of good nutrition, but research and health studies show that the most successful athletes usually comply with a very strict and healthy diet. Some of the best triathlon nutrition tips for beginners include the following:
1. Reduce Consumption of Refined Foods
Refined foods do not provide the necessary energy levels that are required for triathlon competitions. This is because refined foods contain sugar alcohols that the body absorbs rapidly, and they are of no value in terms of nutrition per calorie. In addition, the processed foods tend to stimulate blood-sugar levels, and this can be detrimental to an athlete’s health. Refined foods also tend to cause inflammation of the muscles and joints, especially processed oils such as hydrogenated vegetable oils. Natural, unrefined foods that contain whole grain ingredients may be the best choices for triathlon athletes as they are rich in nutrients.
2. Eat Early and Often
Reliable research shows that foods that are consumed early in the morning are more likely to become heat energy rather than stored fats. Skipping breakfast tends to cause people to overeat in the evening, which is a practice that leads to the storage of fats, because the body will not need the calories that are consumed immediately. Eating frequently and in small quantities is ideal for triathlon nutrition, as it tends to provide the necessary energy that is required at any particular time. Moreover, frequent eating constantly supplies the body with the energy that is required for training and workout sessions.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
A triathlon athlete needs to incorporate a balanced diet in all of his or her meals at all times. While preparing for a triathlon competition, there is no room for compromise. Consumption of “junk” food is not encouraged. Triathlon athletes need to consume more proteins and carbohydrates, as these foods contain calories that are essential for the production of energy.
4. Include More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
Fruits and vegetables contain fibers that are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. They also contain nutrients that are effective in helping the body maintain fitness levels. However, you should avoid taking fruit juices, because they contain too much sugar and less fiber. Eating fruits and vegetables also helps in body recovery, especially after a training session.
5. Drink More Water
Water is also important in triathlon nutrition, as it enhances exercise performance during workout sessions. It increases blood volume and lowers body temperature through hydration, and therefore, it improves performance. Sport drinks are often better than plain water since they contain additional contents that are more absorbable and have a better retention rate.