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Sportvoeding, de vierde discipline van triatlon die soms te weinig aandacht krijgt

Sports nutrition, the fourth discipline of triathlon that sometimes receives too little attention

, by Kyra Meulenberg, 12 min reading time


As triathletes we demand a lot from our body and nutrition is therefore also seen as the fourth discipline.

As triathletes we demand a lot from our body and nutrition is therefore also seen as the fourth discipline.

An inspiring blog written by Kyra Meulenberg.

Ironman World Champion 2021 AG 25-29
7th AG Kona 2022
Win IM 70.3 Maastricht 2021

In this blog I would like to take you through how I use sports nutrition during my training and what it yields for me. Over the past 5 years I have experimented a lot with sports nutrition and this has given me the necessary insights. Of course these are very personal, but I hope that by sharing my experience with you, I can bring you a little closer to finding the perfect strategy to get one step closer to your goals.

In addition, I am not a professional, so I stick to my experience and my personal story.

When I started triathlon 5 years ago, I consistently consumed too little nutrition during training. This was due to several factors. I didn't really like slippery gels and they often gave me stomach problems. In addition, as a novice triathlete, there were a lot of costs involved and I thought I could save on sports nutrition. This also resulted in canceled training sessions with shaking hands and longer recovery. As stubborn as I was, it took a while until I realized that I had to look at the right sports nutrition. Of course, this had often been said to me by my coach, but it took a while before I actively started working on it. I found it particularly difficult to find the right food because I get nauseous very quickly.

I tried different brands and my stomach became better at keeping the gels inside. So I have really experienced that sports nutrition can be trained, even if your stomach is very sensitive. This doesn't happen overnight, but by taking gels even during short training sessions, my stomach was able to tolerate it better and better. By the way, I started with 'hydro' gels, or gels where you don't have to drink water. Not every brand has these gels, which quickly limits the choice.

Last year I came into contact with 226ers during Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote. I love watermelon and the isotonic gel with a watermelon flavor caught my attention. I often encountered the problem that I quickly got bored with a flavor or that there was little choice in the range. At the end of last year I decided to switch to 226ers as a permanent sports nutrition partner.

From that moment on, I have tested the sports nutrition in many different training sessions and running races and have been able to clearly identify what works for me. My favourite? That is still the isotonic gel watermelon, especially while running. Then I like to stick to isotonic gel because my stomach still reacts to it. I also sometimes get questions about taking gels with caffeine, 226ers also has a good gel for that. Namely the isotonic gel with cola. Only that doesn't work well for my stomach, but that can differ per person. I know plenty of people who respond very well to it. So the isotonic gel watermelon and lime are my 'go to' for long or heavy running training.

I also try to take as many gels as possible during training so that I can train my stomach for a race. Of course, you can never completely rule out the possibility that the nutrition will also work during a race. In a race there is much more adrenaline and stress involved. But I am convinced that my stomach has really had to get used to sports nutrition and can therefore now tolerate more and more per hour.

For comparison, when I started 'training' with sports nutrition, I often only took 1 gel per hour. Now 3 gels with 22 grams of carbohydrates per hour seem to work very well. And more carbohydrates means more energy. I think that's a really nice improvement. This shows that nutrition can be trained and I am sure that sometimes we sell ourselves short by not paying enough attention to it.

Figuring out which flavors work for you will make it a lot easier. For me, taking a gel with 226ers is not a must but almost a treat. Of course it cannot be compared to a bar of chocolate. But for all the different sports nutrition I tested, the 226ers products are really at the top. This is also due to the wide range.

If you don't feel like gels, you can also get a lot out of the different types of sports drinks and bars. As for sports drinks, I also prefer the sub9 Watermelon, which probably comes as no surprise. Per 500ml bottle, it already contains 39 grams of carbohydrates. Very easy if you have difficulty taking gels or bars during heavy exercise. The drink is also easy to drink and does not contain a thick substance, which I don't like.

Another big advantage of 226ers for me are the high energy gels. My favorite here is the banana or strawberry gel (this contains extra sodium, useful for Kona if you lose a lot of fluid). These gels take some getting used to in the beginning, but they really give you an energy shot. They are indispensable for me for long endurance rides. A gel contains 50 grams of carbohydrates and must be taken with water.

I especially benefit from it during heavy indoor cycling sessions. It makes it easy to get a lot of energy at once, without having to take 2 gels. Especially in combination with normal isotonic sports drinks (for example red fruit energy drinks), you will quickly reach 70 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The desired amount of carbohydrates per hour is also personal, but I aim for 70 grams while cycling. I used to have difficulty with 50. This is already a big improvement for me and also ensures that I can race faster in races because I simply have more energy.

So you see that even when you think you always get nauseous, there is ultimately a way to be found. That path is not always easy, sometimes frustrating and takes a lot of time. But sports nutrition is an important part of our training and we should not sell ourselves short by not paying enough attention to it.

FeedYourDreams and enjoy the triathlon!

English

Sports nutrition, the fourth discipline of triathlon that is sometimes given too little attention

Kyra Meulenberg

As triathletes, we ask a lot of our bodies and with that, nutrition is also considered the fourth discipline. In this blog, I want to take you through how I use 226ers during my training and what it does for me. Over the past 5 years I have experimented a lot with sports nutrition and this has given me some insights. Of course, these are very personal but I hope that by sharing my experience with you, I can bring you a little closer to finding the perfect strategy to get one step closer to your goals. I am also not a professional so I will also stick to my experience and my personal story.

When I started triathlon 5 years ago, I structurally took too little nutrition during training sessions. This was due to several factors. I didn't really like slippery gels and often got stomach issues from them. In addition, as a beginning triathlete there were a lot of costs involved and I thought I could save on sports nutrition. This did result in stopping halfway through workouts with shaky hands and a longer recovery period. As stubborn as I was, it took a while until I came to the realization that I had to look into proper sports nutrition. Of course, my coach had already told me this many times, but it took a while before I actively started doing it. I found it particularly difficult to find the right nutrition because I get nauseous very quickly.

I tried different brands and my stomach also got better and better at keeping the gels in. I really experienced that sports nutrition is trainable even if your stomach is very sensitive. This doesn't happen overnight but by taking gels, even in short workouts, my stomach was able to tolerate it better and better. By the way, I did start using "hydro" gels, or gels that don't require you to drink water. Not every brand has these gels, which quickly limits the choice somewhat. Last year during Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, I came across 226ers. I love watermelon and the watermelon-flavored isotonic gel caught my attention. In fact, I also often ran into the problem of quickly getting fed up with a flavor or having to little choice in the range. Late last year I decided to make the switch to 226ers, as my regular sports nutrition partner.

Since then, I have tested the sports nutrition in many different workouts and running races and have been able to properly identify what works for me. My favorite? That's still the isotonic watermelon gel, especially during running. I like to stick to isotonic gel because my stomach reacts good to that. I also sometimes get questions about taking gels with caffeine, 226ers has a good gel for that too. Namely, the isotonic gel with cola flavor. Only that doesn't work particularly well for my stomach, but that can vary from person to person. I know plenty of people who respond very well to it. The isotonic gel watermelon and lime are my 'go to' for long or heavy running workouts. I also try to take as many gels as possible during workouts so I can train my stomach for during a race. Of course, you can never completely rule out nutrition working well during a race. In a race there is a lot more adrenaline and stress involved. But I am convinced that my stomach really had to get used to sports nutrition and can now tolerate more and more per hour. For comparison, when I started "training" with sports nutrition, I often only took 1 gel per hour. Now 3 gels with 22 grams of carbs per hour seems to work very well. And more carbs, means more energy. I think that's a really nice improvement. This shows that nutrition can be trained and I'm sure we sometimes sell ourselves short by not paying enough attention to it.

Figuring out which flavors work for you does make it a lot easier. For me, taking a gel with 226ers is not a must but almost a celebration. Of course, it doesn't compare to a bar of chocolate. But for all the different sports nutrition products I've tested, 226ers' products really do come out on top. This is also due to their wide range of products.

If you don't feel like gels, you can also get a lot from the different types of sports drinks and bars. As for the sports drinks, my preference is for the sub9 Watermelon, I'm sure that comes as no surprise. Per bottle of 500ml, this already contains 39 grams of carbohydrates. Very easy if you have trouble taking gels or bars during a hard effort. The drink is also easy to drink and does not contain a thick substance, which I do not like.

Another great benefit of 226ers for me, are the high energy gels. My favorites are the banana or strawberry gel (these contain extra sodium, useful for Kona if you lose a lot of fluids). These gels take some getting used to at first, but they really give you an energy boost. For long endurance rides they are indispensable for me. One gel contains 50 grams of carbohydrates and must be taken with water. Especially during heavy indoor cycling sessions, I benefit from them. It makes it easy to get a lot of energy in one go, without having to take 2 gels. Especially in combination with normal isotonic sports drinks (for example the energy drinks red fruits), you quickly reach 70 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The desired amount of carbohydrates per hour is also personal, but I aim for 70 grams while cycling. Where I used to struggle with 50 grams before. This is already quite an improvement for me and also allows me to race faster because I have more energy. You see, even when you think you always get nauseous, there is a way eventually. That road is not always easy, sometimes frustrating and takes a lot of time. But sports nutrition is an important part of our training and we shouldn't sell ourselves short by not paying enough attention to it.

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Sports nutrition, the fourth discipline of triathlon that sometimes receives too little attention