You can be perfectly trained for an endurance event like an ironman, half ironman, marathon or ultra, but if your nutrition is off, your race is likely to be off too, especially if you’re like me and spend a lot of time out on the course.
- Macronutrients: Carbohydrates are your main fuel source and increase training capacity. You need anywhere from 2.5-5 grams/lb of body weight (based on training load). Protein helps with muscle recovery and building and you need 0.5-0.8 grams/lb of body weight. You don’t need a lot of fats, because your body can produce it from carbohydrates, but we we can’t produce omega-3 and omega-6 which are available in fish, avocado, chia, flaxseed, spinach and kale.
- Micronutrients: A few to be aware of as an athlete include electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Electrolytes helps your cells function properly, stay balanced and avoid things like hyponatremia (too much water, not enough sodium). You also want to make sure you are getting enough iron, which helps transport oxygen to your muscles, and calcium and vitamin D, which keep your bones strong.
- Hydration: Hydrate lots every day, balancing out between water and electrolyte-rich drinks (sports drinks and coconut water, which is lower in sugar, but high in electrolytes) on very hot days or days where you work out for more than an hour.
[More about My Race Nutrition Plan]
Disclaimer: Any information offered in this blog is personal and based on my own experiences. While the information comes from valid sources, it should not be used as a replacement for professional medical care and advice. When I provide health & fitness coaching, I provide clients with basic nutrition guidelines and as needed consult with or refer clients to a physician, nutritionist and/or dietician. Sources: Racing Weight, The Feed Zone, American College of Sports Medicine, Coach AJ and Rebecca from Expert Nutrition.