Triathlon Nutrition Tips From The Pros

Pros discuss their essentials for sustained energy.

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For newcomers to the sport, triathlon can be overwhelming. The options for gear, training techniques and nutrition are endless—and often unwieldy to tackle on one’s own. We reached out to 14 triathlon veterans for their best advice and insights to make your triathlon experience even better. Each day this week we’ll share their advice on a different topic. Today, the pros discuss their essentials for sustained energy. 

Rachel Joyce: When I first got into triathlon I made the mistake of thinking that if I ate on the bike, I was negating the benefits of the training. As I’ve learned, the opposite is true. Fueling well makes you more efficient, allows you to train harder, helps you recover more quickly and helps prevent the cookie jar raid later in the day!

Tim O’Donnell: While it’s good to do a few long rides practicing specific race-day nutrition, on the other days switch it up to something different from gels and bars. I like to throw in a few of the Clif Kids Fruit Ropes. They’re fun to eat and give me quick energy.

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Leanda Cave: I never skimp on breakfast. Protein makes up a huge part of my diet as opposed to carbs. I take protein powder after every workout, and instead of drinking water throughout the day I drink coconut water. I always take gels and sports drink during training, and when I have a long bike/run brick, I find that a caffeinated gel helps to get me going.

Meredith Kessler: Keep your nutrition simple. Find basic, healthy meals that become your staples for breakfast and lunch (eggs, granola, toast and Nutella, turkey sandwich). Snack on healthy foods to reduce cravings for junk (carrots and hummus, yogurt). Dinner is where you can branch out a little to keep your sanity.

Andy Potts: I’m a huge fan of natural, non-processed foods. If you’ve never heard of the top-listed ingredients, you can probably find something healthier on the shelf.

Linsey Corbin: Treat yourself to ice cream after a big training day—or a beer or a glass of wine. Don’t deprive yourself completely!

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