Your mom was right. You need to eat your vegetables. And fruit. It sounds simple, but you might find yourself sacrificing these natural nutrient providers in order to accommodate a busy work, family, social, and training schedule. Consciously incorporating at least the recommended daily servings in your diet will improve your overall health and decrease nutritional deficiencies – a recipe for maximum performance in your daily life, in the gym, and on race day.
Having trouble getting enough fruits and veggies on your plate? Try them in a glass once in awhile instead; fresh fruit and veggie smoothies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and energy on the go. TRI these tips for some smooth veg-fruit fuel:
- DO keep banana slices in your freezer. They make the best blender-friendly ice cubes, add a creamy texture to any smoothie, and give you a nice boost of potassium.
- DO get creative. Try different combinations – of fruit, veggies, flax seeds, and all natural almond, cashew, or peanut butter – keeping in mind a balance of flavors as well as fats, sugars, and calories.
- DO toss in some fresh spinach. It is a good source of fiber and protein. And vitamin A. And vitamin C. And calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese…
- DON’T be afraid of the spinach. When paired with almost any fruit, the strong taste associated with spinach is noticeably diminished. So you get all the benefits of the vegetable without the intense flavor.
- DON’T add sugar or other sweeteners. If you are using fruit, you’ve already got all the natural sugars you need.
- DON’T overdue it. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Smoothies are not intended to be an entire diet. They are a quick way to get the vitamins and minerals you may be missing if you’ve skipped your salad and otherwise failed to fuel your body.
Eat early, smaller, and often. This tip is also quite simple, and as such, also easily forgotten. It is familiar advice often given to those trying to lose weight. But this same advice applies to those training for multisport events. The reason is about more than just the obvious effect that eating earlier, smaller, and often has on fat storage; it’s also about energy levels. Eating earlier in the day sparks the fire. Small meals consumed frequently throughout the day stoke the fire. This fire is energy – fuel for your workouts.
There is no question that training for a triathlon is hard work. It takes a great deal of dedication, stamina, and discipline. Don’t make it more difficult by forgetting the simple steps. Get back to the basics, starting with your fuel. Feed the fire, fuel your workouts. Fuel your workouts, train harder. Train harder, reach your fitness and race day goals.
Have nutritional tips to share with other triathletes training for the Honolulu Triathlon? Post them on our FaceBook page and they may be featured in an upcoming website post!