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Ironman wereldkampioen Jan Frodeno op zijn tijdritfiets van Canyon

Prevent the most common beginner mistakes with sports nutrition for triathletes:

Tips and advice for the perfect nutritional strategy

Sports nutrition - the fourth discipline in triathlon

  • Nutrition plays a crucial role for triathletes. The combination of three different disciplines requires a lot of energy, which is why it is important to pay attention to what you eat and drink. However, as a starting triathlete, rookie mistakes are likely to occur, which can negatively affect your performance. In this blog we explain some common beginner mistakes.

Error 1: Underestimating nutritional needs

One of the most common mistakes novice triathletes make is underestimating their nutritional needs during training and competition. Triathlons require a lot of energy, and not adequately replenishing that energy can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, and even not completing the race.

Solution: Plan and calculate

It is essential to understand your nutritional needs and create a proper nutrition plan for them. Work with a nutritionist or coach to calculate your calorie and macronutrient needs based on your exercise intensity, body weight and goals. Make a plan for both your daily diet and your diet during training and competitions, and stick to it.

"By being aware of and avoiding common beginner nutrition mistakes, you can significantly increase your chances of a successful race"

Floris Willedraadse - Athlete

Error 2: Eating too much or too little before the race

Another common mistake is having a poor pre-race nutrition strategy. Some novice triathletes eat too much, leaving them feeling heavy and uncomfortable, while others eat too little, leaving them without enough energy to perform at their best. It is a balance that you must know how to assess carefully.

Solution: Experiment and learn

Experiment with different foods and meal times during your workouts to see what works best for your body. Focus on carbohydrate-rich meals that are easy to digest and give you energy without burdening your stomach. Make sure you eat meals well in advance so that your body has enough time to digest the food before you race.

Error 3: Neglect of hydration

Hydration is just as important as nutrition, if not more so, during a triathlon. Failure to hydrate adequately can lead to dehydration, reduced performance and even health problems.

Solution: Drink regularly and consistently

Drink small sips of water regularly during your training and competitions to stay hydrated. Learn to listen to your body and drink before you feel thirsty. Also experiment with sports drinks that contain electrolytes to help maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance during long races.

  • Did you know? An endurance athlete can lose up to 2 liters of sweat per hour!

Error 4: Relying too much on energy gels and sports drinks

Although energy gels and sports drinks can be useful during a triathlon to quickly replenish energy, first-time riders sometimes make the mistake of relying too much on these products and ignoring other nutritional sources.

Solution: Vary your diet

Provide a varied diet consisting of whole foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Use energy gels and sports drinks to supplement as needed, but don't forget to also rely on nutritious foods like bananas, oatmeal, nuts and whole wheat bread.

''In the world of sports nutrition there is no good or wrong. Learn and try what works for you and stick with it!”


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Avoid beginner mistakes with sports nutrition during triathlon