A healthy diet is essential when training for a high endurance sport like a triathlon. There is no doubt that when I start training; not only do I increase my mileage weekly, but my appetite increases too. I have learned the hard way that, if you do not eat the right foods, you will never get full and you can eat yourself out of house and home. So I have done some reading and compiled a few tips to help you get the right nutrition for your body while training.
- Whole Foods are Good Foods. Triathlete Magazine tells us that “According to Rhonwyn Curtis-Nicholson, RD and certified nutrition support dietitian at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, sticking to whole foods whenever possible will keep your energy levels up and your body working to its maximum potential.”
- Snack Healthy. Sometimes you feel like a nut, and that is a good thing. “Nuts, in general, are healthy and contain the good fats such as monounsaturated fats that can slow down inflammation and oxidation in the body. Almonds also have a little bit of calcium in them, which sets them apart from other types of nuts,” Curtis-Nicholson says.
- Dark Chocolate for Dessert. According to Curtis-Nicholson, chocolate and peanut butter are both healthy in moderation. “Look for a high cocoa content, like at least 60 to 70 percent in order to get the benefits of dark chocolate’s flavonols,” she says. And as for peanut butter, Curtis-Nicholson recommends choosing natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts and salt) over commercial varieties because the popular brands often contain corn syrup and hydrogenated fats.
- The Devine Vitamin D.This vitamin is seriously under-utilized and lacking in many athletes. Adding Vitamin D to your diet will help you to avoid injuries while training. Triathlete Magazine’s Nathan Koch says, “Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and throughout the world. The deficiency causes rickets in children, osteoporosis in adults and stress fractures in athletes and has been linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type-1 diabetes mellitus, and even influenza.”
To sum it all up, load up on fresh veggies and proteins, they will fill you up faster and keep you full longer than fatty foods. It is unnecessary to leave out dessert, hey life is short, maybe get daring and sneak a piece of that decadent, dark, delicacy, before you pile on the veggies. Don’t forget to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. And lastly, snack like a champ you crazy nut!