Since March is National Nutrition month I feel it best to touch on some important info not only for triathletes, but also parents with wee ones and everyone else. Nutrition is vital to every living being, but is often misunderstood, complicated, overlooked, and over/under used. I am no expert nor do I plan to ever be, but have learned the basics and am still in the learning process as well. So for part 1, let’s look at daily nutritional supplements for athletes, specifically triathletes.
The picture posted shows my personal collection of fuel for pre/during/post workouts and races. I do not necessarily use all of these products, but I try to keep a collection of my favorites on hand for all of my training needs. I will never tell anyone what specific product to try because every person is different: sweet vs. not so sweet, caffeine vs. no caffeine, gel or drink vs chews…Whenever folks ask what they should be taking, I give a general answer since we are all unique. Each athlete needs fuel for the pre-workout. This can consist of essential oils, moderate amounts of carbs and protein, and of course water. There are quite a few athletes that cannot workout with anything on their stomach and that is perfectly fine if your body can function on empty. I try to do at least one workout per week with my pre-workout drink without any food both to boost my training and to train my body for race day when I cannot have too much fuel. During the workout once again depends on what you are doing. If you are just working out for an hour at the gym, you probably do not need any products besides water. But when doing long training runs or rides or in race mode (more than 3 hours) fuel is necessary since the body loses the essentials as we sweat them out. And lastly is probably the most important-the post workout. If I can give one piece of advice, do not overlook the post-workout supplements. A common myth is that you only need protein for your post workout, but in all reality, replacing sodium loss and replenishing carbs are important. Most commonly, people either drink a post workout shake, have a hardboiled egg, or a small meal that consists of chicken, beef, or fish.
Let me remind you, I am not the expert, this is just what my coaching program has taught me along with personal experience. What I always tell folks when they come to buy product at Red Dirt Running Company is if they do not know what they like to buy a little bit of everything. Most of the standard supplements do not cost an arm and a leg such as your Hammer, GU, Clif Bar, Chobani, Honey Stinger, grocery store protein powder, fruit, chocolate milk, eggs…It is better to test products out prior to a race. So next time you are doing a long endurance run or bike, test out some products to see what enhances your performance and allows the body feel its best.
Here is a rough list of what I take daily when training (which is pretty much 7 days a week):
- Pre: Juice Plus Fruit and Veggies Chews ; Complete Nutrition Buzzerk, Complete Nutrition Mega Shred/Tone/CTS 360; Clif Builder Bar mini or Chobani Yogurt
- During: Water; Gatorade; GU Gel or Honey Stinger Chews; Salt Tabs (for 3+ hours of training)
- Post: Complete Nutrition Rezzerect or Protein Shake or Salad with chicken breast
I am not going into my dietary plan, this is strictly my supplement routine.
Good luck with training and adding supplements to your routine. If you have specific questions about products, give me a shout and I can give you at least my personal opinion. Just know that I love sweeter products (I inherited my dad’s sweet-tooth 🙂