As you get ready for your first triathlon, diet will be one of the most important parts of your training. A balanced, nutritious diet will give your body the fuel it needs to perform its best while steadily improving strength, endurance, and agility.
In our guide, we’ve broken down our top nutrition tips for beginner triathlons. We’ll cover the requirements of triathlons for beginners, as well as everything you need to know about fueling like a champion.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Why Nutrition Is Vital to Triathlon Training
Anyone who performs a sport can tell you how important a good diet is. No matter how much you train, your body can only perform as well as you fuel it.
Everything you eat has a direct impact on your performance. And since triathletes are trying to do a three-in-one sport, they need a highly optimized diet that supports maximum endurance.
For starters, you should be eating 1.4 to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight every day. Protein helps build muscle and supports a strong immune system. Protein also contains amino acids, which help the body process food and repair tissues.
It doesn’t matter whether this is your first triathlon or not; everyone participating in the sport needs to give their body the proper energy and nutrition to achieve their goals and stay safe while they’re performing.
Dietary Requirements for Triathlons
Below is a breakdown of all the nutritional needs for each type of triathlon sport. These suggestions are based on a beginner participating in a sprint triathlon.
Swim – 750 Metres
It’s common for many triathletes to eat a light meal before they swim, then follow up with a bigger meal post-session. Make sure you get a good intake of electrolytes and carbohydrates.
During longer swims or high-intensity workouts, your body will need carbs to turn into energy. And electrolytes supply your muscles with the power they need to keep going strong.
Remember to still hydrate even while you’re swimming and if starting to feel the onset of cramping CrampFix can provide rapid cramp management. You still sweat in the pool!
Bike – 20 kilometres
Hydration is essential for cycling and electrolytes are particularly important. You may not need a huge meal before you practice, but you should refuel with plenty of macronutrients afterwards (carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.)
If your rides exceed 90 minutes, you should keep snacks on hand. These could be energy bars, but bananas, nuts, and some granola work just as well, too.
The boost of potassium from bananas can be especially good for bikers that want to ward off cramps. Drinking Fuel X during your ride can provide you with the electrolytes, hydration and energy you need to keep riding.
Just make sure you’re building the habit of refueling and hydrating as you train.
Run – 5 kilometres
Runners should eat plenty of easy-to-digest carbohydrates, especially before they power through a session. Protein is better left for post-workout recovery to help build muscle.
Avoid eating anything high in fat or fiber before you run, as it increases your risk of stomach problems during a workout.
Generally, runners for triathletes should eat lean diets that are rich in carbohydrates, recover with protein, and ensure they’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals through fruits and vegetables.
Also, as always, hydration is essential. You need to keep your blood sugar levels up, and restock on sodium and electrolytes if you’re running for longer periods (more than 2 hours at a time). Fuel X is designed to provide you with the energy you need to continue running, something that is important during an event like a Triathlon which places challenges your body with different physical (and mental) challenges.
Remember that everyone’s body is different, and you may need to fuel differently from someone else to match your current fitness level. Always put safety first.
What to Eat Before a Triathlon
Pre-race meals should be full of carbs, but not so much fiber and fat. You want to avoid any stomach issues that could get in the way of your performance. Carb-rich meals with fruit are a great breakfast (think oatmeal with blueberries, or some whole-grain waffles with strawberries and melon.)
You should increase your fluid intake at least two days before your race. This process ensures your body has an adequate supply of electrolytes before the event.
One of the most important parts of triathlons for beginners is a safe recovery. Make sure you’re consuming enough protein to help your muscles heal. You also want to help combat your body’s stress levels through the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
It’s also a good idea to consume plenty of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and any discomfort you may have after the event.
Training for a Triathlon? Try It With Fixx
Fixx Nutrition makes nutrition products for triathletes that are safe and effective. CrampFix helps prevent muscle pain during and after training or sports; Fuel X keeps your energy levels high and ensures you stay healthy with a gut-friendly formula.
Browse our full collection today to find the perfect supplements for your event!