How Nutritional Counseling Can Help Your Next Triathlon
Triathlon training is incredibly grueling. Any triathlete who has run the race before could tell beginners that it is not for the unmotivated. It takes weeks and months of preparation, including determining your schedule, potentially working with a coach, like a triathlon trainer, finding the right training regime specific for you, and ensuring you have the necessary gear. However, one thing that is just as important as your physical training is your nutrition. While you need to have the stamina and skill necessary to compete in any type of triathlon, if you run out of energy or are not well-hydrated, your body will shut down. Many triathletes who have been in several races may be aware of how their body functions and which food best fuels them, but especially for beginners, you may not know how to start an eating program. Nutritional counseling can provide you with the facts and science behind why you need certain food and how much liquid you should intake at what time. For more information on how nutritional counseling can help you prepare for your triathlon, keep reading.
Triathlon Nutritional Issues
When it comes to triathlons, the triathlete cannot just rely on their physical skill. When they only focus on practicing their techniques and not figuring out what their body needs to fuel their race, they are at a deficit. Common issues that many triathletes face regarding nutrition are:
- – Hydrating Properly
- – Fueling Your Body, and
- – Stomach Cramps and Bloating
Hydrating Properly. This may seem obvious, and any athlete will tell you it is important to keep their fluid levels up, but you and your nutritional counselor can determine the proper times for rehydrating. For example, your gastrointestinal tract works better earlier on in a race to absorb carbs and fluids. Because of this, your counselor may recommend drinking more earlier on as well as in the days leading up to the race. If you cross the finish line weighing more than you did when you started, you likely drank too much.
Fueling Your Body. Your nutritional counselor can also work with you to determine how your body reacts to certain foods (proteins, fats, and carbs) and find the best long-term diet to help sustain your grueling workouts. In fact, because your body can run on carbs for a few hours, many nutritional counselors suggest a large portion of carbs just prior to the race to sustain you for the first few hours before depletion. Talking with your counselor can help you find the right food to intake during a race.
Stomach Cramps and Bloating. Unfortunately, if you eat the wrong foods or if you are overly anxious for your triathlon you may face certain gastrointestinal issues. You can largely combat these issues by weighing yourself during training (to see how your body reacts to rigorous workouts) and finding the right combination of food and liquids to sustain you. If you introduce new food items (like high-fiber bars or carb-rich gels) only on the day of the race, your body might not process these items correctly.
Getting the Right Counseling
Nutritional counseling can make or break your next triathlon. If you have any questions or if you would like to speak with a nutritional counselor today about your upcoming race, contact a nutritional counselor now.