I hope everyone is ready for a great weekend!! You know we like to talk about food on Fridays, and I found an article that I thought was very important to share. Us triathletes have to understand that there are four disciplines to our sport: swim, bike, run, NUTRITION! Eating right is key, more so than your training. If you arent putting the right things into the machine, you simple will not get optimal performance out of the machine. Its a rather basic equation really. Here are five very important things to remember:
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.
So remember when you are heading to that snack room to raid the vending machine that the action will derail any progress you are making. Opt for fresh fruits…’tis the season to find yummy selections at your local market. Also, keep a glass of water with you at all times….and flavor it if need be! I add slices of cucumbers, oranges, strawberries, even apples with cinnamon sticks to make the water taste super yummy! You have added some flavor while maintaining the integrity of the water!
Happy training RYPE-er! And have a MAGNIFICENT weekend!!