In general, protein intake for athletes should be about higher than for the average non-athlete. That means, for a general approach, athletes should be consuming 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. That’s a great place to start and then progress from there.
Each macronutrient (fat, carbohydrate, protein) plays an important role in health and performance. For example, different carbohydrate will affect energy and performance depending on nutrient timing and type of carbohydrate a triathlete eats. Fats are the most calorically dense macronutrient and if over consumed can negatively affect body composition. Protein during and after workouts, for example, will be used for energy and repair, respectively.
This is the first article in a five week series where we discuss proper nutrition for triathletes. The first week focuses on basic nutrition practices for general health. Moving forward we’ll explain the importance of fat, protein, and carbohydrate as well as share strategies to calculate your daily caloric expenditure and the proper macronutrient breakdown to improve your athletic performance.
Basic nutrition practices for general health
The evidence of poor nutrition is rampant. You don’t need to look further than your friends, family, and coworkers for proof. It’s an unfortunate reality, but there’s no sense in sugarcoating everything just because they do.
Triathlon saved my life. I made a promise to myself that I’d start living healthier after my mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. I was overweight, unhappy, and settling for one job after another with no real desire or direction. But what started out as a goal for myself later blossomed into a passion for endurance sports and helping others realize the freedoms in life and sport that triathlon has afforded me.
I forced the issue, despite knowing how best to handle a recovery week following a long, arduous event. I disobeyed one of the cardinal rules of endurance, and life in general: Patience.
Consistency will lead to improvement, but patience will yield the best results. Here’s how the week post-31 miler should have played out.
Last week I took you through my strength routine with descriptions of proper form and photos to better illustrate it. This week, I’ll breakdown my running warm up routine. This ensures my calves, quads, and glutes especially are activated prior to beginning any run. That means no matter what distance I’m running or the intensity I’m going through this routine.