Category Archives for "Triathlon Nutrition"

Triathlete Diet: Nutrition Rules for Endurance Athletes from Top Sports Nutritionists

“Nutrition rules for every Triathlete. How can you make the most out of your diet? Read it below!”

Triathlete Diet

Triathlete Diet

In a sport where food is fuel, we sometimes forget that eating well is more than just bars and salt pills. But let’s do a quick calculation: If you get eight hours of sleep a night, you’re awake for 112 hours a week. A 20-hour/week training regimen leaves you with 92 non-training hours. That’s a good chunk of your waking life not spent eating gels and drinking sports drinks.

As an endurance machine, what you put in your mouth during those 92 hours can make the difference between functioning at your best and getting rusty—or at worst, breaking down. So we consulted six of triathlon’s top nutritionists for their key tenets of everyday nutrition.

1. Eat a quality daily diet
We all love our bars and gels for long rides, but what are we eating when we’re not swimming, biking and running? Matt Fitzgerald, author of “Racing Weight,” says that general health is the foundation of endurance fitness, and a high-quality diet is essential for general health. “Most triathletes struggle to get leaner despite an appetite inflated by heavy training,” Fitzgerald says. “A high-quality diet helps with that by satisfying the appetite in a calorically efficient way.”

How does your diet measure up? Try keeping score with a system like the USDA’s MyPlate Supertracker, or Fitzgerald’s Diet Quality Score in the aforementioned book.

Pay attention if:
→You’re prone to illness and injury
→You’re having trouble achieving body composition goals
You’ve nailed it when:
→Your plate is overflowing with fruits, vegetables, lean protein and complex carbohydrates
→You avoid junk foods (including large amounts of processed energy bars and gels) and fatty foods
→You limit your intake of alcohol to one or two drinks a day and keep caffeine to a minimum

2. Eat enough, starting with breakfast
Think you’re tired because you’re training so much? Think again, and then fix yourself a sandwich. Many endurance athletes, despite fueling their workouts properly while they’re out on the road, finish the day with a caloric deficit. The fear of gaining weight can result in an epidemic of under-fed triathletes.

“Triathletes think performance starts with training, but it starts with fuel,” says sports nutritionist and author Nancy Clark.
Clark’s “Sports Nutrition Guidebook” can help you estimate your daily energy needs, which depend on height, weight loss goals and even physical habits. In the meantime, make sure you get started with a quality breakfast (Clark advises 800 to 1,000 calories, split up between pre-workout, during and after). Your first meal of the day should make up a third to a half of your daily calories, she says, to avoid getting tired in the evening and eating too much or too poorly.

Pay attention if:
→Your workouts aren’t enjoyable and don’t feel like quality sessions
→You think about food all the time
→Your hunger spikes in the evening
You’ve nailed it when:
→Your performance consistently improves
→You recover quickly
→You crave sweets infrequently (people who say they’re addicted to sugar are really just hungry, Clark says)

3. Practice meal timing
Ever attempted a long run after an all-you-can-eat brunch? Then you know that even high-quality foods, if eaten at the wrong time, can do your training more harm than good.

“An athlete should have some sort of nutrition approximately one to three hours before a training session,” says Bob Seebohar, sports dietitian, exercise physiologist, and coach at fuel4mance.com. For short and/or high-intensity sessions under two hours, Seebohar says athletes can benefit from teaching the body to rely on fat stores for energy, which requires consuming fewer carbohydrates. For such sessions, he recommends liquid-based nutrition such as a sports drinks. For sessions more than three hours, Seebohar recommends consuming 200 to 300 grams of carbohydrate one to four hours beforehand.
What you eat after a workout—when the muscles are primed to accept nutrients—matters just as much. The 30 to 60 minutes immediately following long and high-intensity workouts are especially important. Seebohar recomends consuming 1 to 1.2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight and 10 to 25 grams of protein after a workout. Fat, which inhibits carbohydrate absorption, should wait until a few hours later.

Pay attention if:
→You’re prone to GI distress in workouts (can be due to consuming too many carbohydrates)
→You’re low on energy or feel heavy and sluggish before and during workouts

You’ve nailed it when:
→You feel satiated, energetic and light in all your workouts, no matter what time of day

4. Monitor macronutrients
Fueling your body well goes beyond eating your fruits and veggies. Macronutrients—carbohydrates, fats and proteins—have several important functions in the body, and it’s crucial to give your body the right amount of each.

According to Jamie A. Cooper, author of “The Complete Nutrition Guide for Triathletes,” the exact percentages of each will vary depending on what type of triathlete you are; an IRONMAN triathlete will need slightly more carbohydrate (the body’s primary energy source) than a short-course triathlete logging fewer training hours. But as a rule of thumb, he says athletes should aim for getting 45-65 percent of daily calories from carbohydrate, 15-20 percent from protein and 20-35 percent from fat.

Pay attention if:
→You feel low on energy before, during and after your workouts
→You frequently feel fatigued
You’ve nailed it when:
→You recover quickly, even after high-intensity sessions
→You can’t remember the last time you got sick, or injured. More at 6 Nutrition Rules for Endurance Athletes

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Triathlon Diet

Triathlete Diet Plan Do’s and Don’ts

“Triathlete diet plan that will help every Triathlete in preparation for their big race day. Read more below!”

Triathlon Diet

Triathlete Diet

For triathletes, food is fuel. So don’t fill your tank with sludge. “Poor training days are often due to poor eating days,” says Suzanne Eberle, M.S., R.D., author of Endurance Sports Nutrition.

This plan is designed to give you sustained energy for your workouts, help your body recover from training, and to give you peak performance on race day. You’ll notice it’s different from the advice you may have read elsewhere in Men’s Health, and for good reason: This isn’t a fat loss or muscle-building diet. Here, we’re talking about performance—specifically, your best performance possible.

What to Eat
Triathletes should break their diets into three phases: off season, peak season, and tapering, says Tim Ziegenfuss, Ph.D., CEO of the Center for Applied Health Sciences. The only real difference between the three stages? Carb intake. “Carbohydrates are the most important fuel.” People who are training for a triathlon should be eating 2 to 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight every day.

Recent studies have also shown that pairing carbohydrates and proteins help your muscles recover from training. “Instead of just a bagel or an apple, have it with some peanut butter or nuts,” says Ziegenfuss.

Don’t get too excited—this doesn’t give you free reign to eat all of the pasta you want. “You still have to match your caloric intake to caloric expenditure, or else you’ll gain body fat,” Ziegenfuss warns. Also, make sure you’re making healthy choices—lots of fruits and veggies, making your carbs whole grains—and drinking lots of water all day.

When to Eat
You want to time your nutrition so that you have fuel for longer workouts. Eat a meal of mostly carbs and a bit of protein 2 to 3 hours before a workout. Ziegenfuss recommends eating your post-workout meal of 4:1 ratio carbs to protein 15 minutes post-workout. This is the time your body is most receptive to refueling levels of the stored energy called glycogen in your muscles. But if you can’t meet that window, don’t sweat it—just refuel as soon as you can.

Staying Hydrated
“Dehydration as little as 2 percent can impair performance,” says Ziegenfuss, so make sure you’re consistently hydrated throughout the day. Your urine should be a light yellow color most of the time.

Race Fuel: Gels, Sports Drinks, and Bars
Sports drinks and gels are another way of getting key nutrients during training, but figuring out what’s right for you is all about experimenting. Mix and match different drinks and gels to see what works best and gives you the best training sessions. Gels are popular, especially during the race, because of the small packaging, but some people will prefer a fluid. Ziegenfuss suggests trying a carb-protein mixture to help meet your energy needs before or after the race. As long as you’re eating your pre-workout meal, you shouldn’t need additional race nutrition for workouts shorter than 90 minutes.

The Week of the Race
Carbo-loading the week of the race is a thing of the past. Slightly increase your carb intake (Ziegenfuss suggests 3 grams per pound of body weight) one to two days before the race, and leave the rest of your diet untouched. This will help store more energy in the muscle and keep you fueled for race day.

The Day of the Race
The biggest thing to remember the day of the race is to never try anything new. Testing out a new brand of sports gel or eating something different for breakfast is the quickest route toward an upset stomach, which is the last thing you want mid-triathlon. Eberle cautions, “Think about workouts and meals as dress rehearsals for race day.” More at Your Complete Triathlon Nutrition Plan

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Cauliflower’s Many Benefits

It's always good to add cauliflower to your weekly diet

Cauliflower belong to the group of plants known as cruciferous vegetables. Along with cabbage, Brussels sprouts and turnips, these crunchy, colorful vegetables contain healthful compounds that may help fight cancer. You can eat broccoli and cauliflower raw, steamed, stir-fried or cooked in casseroles.

Some of the health benefits of cauliflower are cancer prevention, better digestion, contains antioxidants, helps prevent chronic inflammation, provides a good amount of folate (B9), a B vitamin that is necessary for a healthy pregnancy, B vitamins and more. So adding cauliflower to your diet is a must.

Check out The Diet Solution Program to learn more on what foods are good for you to maintain an overall good health.

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