Triathlon Nutrition: Fueling Your Way to the Finish Line



Eating the right foods is super important during your training. It directly affects how well you perform and how successful you are in the sport. Good nutrition gives you the energy you need for tough workouts, and carbohydrates are especially important for keeping you going.

Getting a good mix of different nutrients, like proteins and vitamins, helps their muscles heal and grow stronger. This means you can perform better and recover faster. Eating well also helps keep your immune system strong, so you don’t get sick as often. Plus, it helps you to have a body that’s just the right size and shape for moving fast. When you focus on eating right during training, you can reach your full potential and do really well in your races.

Wondering about the right timing and quantity of nutrition intake? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! This simple and practical guide will help you nail it every single time. Say goodbye to confusion and hello to optimal nutrition for your training. Let’s dive in and make fueling your body a breeze!

Fueling Your Training

Under 60 Minutes

60-150 Minutes

150+ Minutes

 Hydration is key, so make sure you drink water before and during the activity. You don’t need special sports drinks unless you’re sweating a lot. As for nutrition, unless you’re exercising intensely or on an empty stomach, you generally won’t need extra snacks or energy gels. Just focus on maintaining a balanced diet with enough carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to support your overall fitness and energy levels. Hydrate adequately with water and consider electrolyte-rich beverages. To sustain energy levels, consume easily digestible carbohydrates like energy gels or sports snacks starting around the 45-minute mark. Aim for approximately 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during these longer sessions. Maintaining hydration and consuming enough carbohydrates will help you sustain performance and prevent fatigue. Drink water and consider electrolyte-rich beverages to replenish lost minerals. Fueling your body with carbs becomes paramount. Consume easily digestible carbohydrates like energy gels, sports drinks, or snacks consistently throughout the activity, aiming for around 60-90 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This will help maintain your energy levels and sustain performance during the extended duration.
During Training: Water Only During Training: 30-60g Carbs per hour During Training: 60-90g Carbs per hour
Refuel with 15-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-20 grams of protein within 30-60 minutes after your training.
Refuel with 30-60 grams of carbohydrates and 15-25 grams of protein within 30-60 minutes after your training.
Refuel with 60-90 grams of carbohydrates and 20-30 grams of protein within 30-60 minutes after your training.

Training Day - Calorie Intake Calculator

Losing Weight Whilst Training

When targeting fat loss, aiming to reduce calories by 250-500 per day is a common approach. However, it’s important to be aware that this calorie reduction may affect your training performance. If you experience low energy levels, it’s advisable to prioritise your training and consume the full calories recommended by the calculator on most days.

Balancing calorie intake with training needs is crucial for optimal performance and supporting your body’s requirements for recovery and adaptation. Listen to your body and make necessary adjustments to fuel appropriately for both fat loss and athletic performance.

How To Fuel Low vs High Intensity

When training with low volume and intensity, it’s recommended to aim for the lower end of the nutrition recommendations. For medium volume and intensity, target the mid range. And when training at higher levels of volume and intensity, aim for the higher end of the recommendations. If your goal is to lose body weight, increasing your protein intake to the higher end can help you feel fuller for longer.

Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day and make sure to distribute your recommended nutrient levels evenly across the day. Don’t forget to include the carbohydrates consumed during exercise in your overall totals as well!

How To Test?

To test your zones I look at 20 minute tough efforts in each discipline to calculate your threshold power, pace and heart rate. It takes some practice and the more you do it the easier it becomes to gauge effort.

I recommend retesting regularly, typically every 4-8 weeks depending on the athlete and their goals. This is a great way to monitor improvements and update your zones so your training progresses along with your updated fitness.

I have a training week available to purchase on Training Peaks for $4.95 using the link below, this will link to your sports watch and Zwift so you can test yourself easily at home.