For triathletes, creating a logical hydration and nutrition strategy for race day can mean the difference between success and failure. The level of exertion endurance triathletes experience requires them to replenish their body with vital fluids and nutrients. Experts suggest accomplishing this in a number of ways.
- Try fluid replacement drinks. Athletes should test different flavors and brands weeks before the race to ensure they will not upset their stomachs. Try to stay away from products with ingredients you don’t understand. Choose a drink with the right balance of sodium, potassium, and carbohydrates. Tough exercise requires the replenishment of electrolytes for adequate recovery. Not getting enough can spell disaster for the triathlete.
- Try real foods. Eating real foods, as opposed to multicolored gels and chewables is smart. Your body is used to eating real food and can get nutrients from foods that include avocados, apples, oranges, and bananas as part of their construction. I have employed a new technique that I learned when I went to grab my whole grain, almond butter, avocado sandwich on my bike and it had turned to mush, along with a bag of whole foods sweet potatoes. So, I just squeezed the bag and I ate it like spaceman food. It was tasty, my body appreciated it, and it was easier to consume in mush form. So that is what I do—create and consume real food mush bags.
In the end, be creative, but try to stay clean with your eating. Eating clean is your body’s best friend when it comes to hydration and nutrition during exercise. Also, experiment with different levels of intake before, during, and after exercise. Use the weeks leading up to the race to help you find the right hydration and nutrition strategy for your body.