10 best foods for triathletes

Fuel your training with these foods

Eating well is all part of becoming a good athlete. Triathlon is a very demanding sport and because of that fortunately we get to indulge in more food than most people to fuel the hours of hard training completed each week. Your body requires that you give back what you take, in order to remain healthy, and that comes from your diet. Below are listed some of the foods that are most important in my diet.

Porridge - I like porridge because it’s filling, low GI and doesn’t mess with my stomach. A good solid bowl of this will see me through the morning well with no real cravings for more food as it’s a slow release in energy. A good option is to mix in honey, but other options include berries and banana. It’s not my favourite breakfast but it’s a good healthy option and I’ll eat it when I’m training hard as it certainly helps my performance.

Avocado - Fats are coming back into fashion! Have you heard about the high fat and low carb diet Paleo diet? For many athletes good fats can be the most important part of your diet especially if they duration of your event gets longer. Avocado is one of the best sources of healthy fats.

Eggs - Eggs are a perfect source of protein, stuffed with vitamins and also nice and filling. Perfect to eat for breakfast and lunch after hard training sessions. A staple breakfast or lunch for me is omelette with spinach, cheese, bacon and avocado chopped on top.

Isotonic drinks - A sports drink will help you through a tough training session, replacing everything you lose in your sweat and also giving you extra some calories to play with. When training it’s important to keep your calories topped up as you go along so you aid recovery and hopefully don’t blow up before the end. I use Etixx who have a great range.

Salad - Salad is perfect meal if you’re feeling like you need to top up on some health food and get in some veggies or maybe a good option for a lighter meal so you’re not putting on weight during easier periods of training.

Steak - One of the most common problems endurance athletes run into is low iron levels, and one of the tastiest and best sources of iron and protein is a good chunky steak. You can help absorb more of the iron from your steak with a glass of orange juice on the side.

Sweet potato - These are more nutritionally valuable than white potatoes and a great source of carbohydrate as well as potassium and iron. They’re great for energy and muscle regeneration but the best thing is they’re low GI so you’ll get through the day in better condition!

Natural yogurt - High in protein, fats and probiotic yogurt is a great for breakfast or a snack. It also tastes great and is a good option for a desert if you can mix it in with some berries and fruits.

Chocolate - Sometimes all it takes is a pick up to get you through the day. When you’re training back to back without much time between to eat, and you don’t want to end up running around with a full stomach, then crack open the chocolate. It’ll make you happy and give you that extra sugar hit to keep you pumped up!

Nuts - Nuts are filled with protein and healthy fats, it’s actually a great source of calories and a very healthy thing to eat as a snack as well as with your meals. I guess the fact a plant grows from a nut or seed indicates very obviously that it’s life sustaining!

Will Clarke

Written by Will Clarke

Will is a British triathlete. He's a former U23 World and European Champion, competed at Beijing 2008 and has twice been British national champion.  He now competes on the World Ironman 70:3 circuit.

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