Top Tips for Triathlon Nutrition


1. Eat a healthy diet on a daily basis

General Health is the foundation of endurance athletes, says Matt Fitzgerald, author of 
Racing Weight. With increased training sessions, your appetite is bound to increase too. 
So in order to be lean for your sports it is best to stick to a high-quality diet that satisfies 
your appetite in a calorie efficient way.

So Get In:

- At least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. 
- Loads of greens: spinach, broccoli, kale etc
- A good breakfast. Some nice options are: porridge, granola, muesli, scrambled/poached 
eggs on wholemeal toast. 
- Dried fruit and dark chocolate instead of refined sweets
- Plain meats and fish
- Avocado! 
- Wholegrain anything!

2. Meal timing

Plan your meals according to your training sessions. It is ideal to eat something one to 
three hours before a training session. You know you have it right when you feel satisfied, 
light and energetic in all training sessions. Please see the section on snacks after training 
as well. 

3. Hydrate!

Hydration is so important for any human, but athletes should pay special attention to this 
aspect. Proper hydration helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, healthy skin, brain 
power etc. How much you need to drink can only be determined by your body type. Since 
we are all unique, a good guideline for proper hydration is the color of your pee. Really! 
You should aim for your wee to be clear or light in colour.

4. Drinks to training

Electrolyte drinks - not sports drinks - or just water with lemon, and sugar/maple 
syrup/honey and salt (optional) are great for workouts that last more than one hour. 
If you buy squash to use at training do yourself a favour and buy the one WITH 
sugar in it. Sweeteners are just for taste and do not give you any energy.

5. Snacks after training 

Make sure you have a snack as soon as possible after training to help with 
recovery. This should consist of a combination of carbs and protein. Fat limits 
effective carbohydrate absorption so this is better consumed in small quantities and 
right never before and after training. Below are some great options:

-Fruit: banana, orange, mango, apples, dried fruit. Bananas are ideal as they 
contain essential nutrients for optimum muscle recovery like potassium and 
fructose.
-Protein shake 
-Greek yoghurt with fruit
-Cereal bars

6. Pre and post race refuelling

Refuel after races- mix of protein ( for muscle recovery) and carbs. A good meal of 
wholegrain Pasta or rice are ideal.
Refuelling after a race is especially important in triathlon as we train ALL the time, 
so after a race we often find that we have to go back into training the next day. 
Performing at a good level is hard without adequate nutrition. 

Depending on the length of the race, you need to start carb loading the day before 
or in the days leading up to the race. There is no need to exaggerate as you are also 
decreasing your training before a race so you should pay special attention to make sure 
you give your body as much as it needs and no more.

Another golden rule is: Don’t try anything new before or during a race!

Since you do not know how you will react to new ingredients try to avoid foods and
drinks you are not familiar with. Also do not try to get all your carbs in in one day.
The day before the race your stomach should not be stuffed with food. Avoiding this
means that your energy will be spent on racing and not on digesting. 

Sprint Triathlon: The day before a race try to eat a bigger lunch so that your dinner is light 
but high in carbohydrates and easy to digest. This way you will feel lighter before your 
swim start early in the morning.