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The choice of food supplements in triathlon

Triathlon requires a carbohydrate and mineral salt intake

On the intensity ranges related to the practice of triathlon, whether on a sprint or on an Ironman, the body uses sugar to produce energy. It is therefore necessary to provide the body with enough carbohydrates before and during the race so as not to have hypoglycemia, which would cause a significant drop in performance, and potentially abandonment. Three types of supplements can be used in training and racing to provide these carbohydrates.

Energy gels

They are the most used supplements, because they are easy to assimilate, even at high intensities.

Energy bars

They provide the body with solid food. Indeed, consuming only liquid generally causes some digestive discomfort, especially during long efforts (Ironman 70.3 and Ironman).

Energy drinks

They provide the body with rapidly assimilable and easily digestible carbohydrates. They are to be preferred after each race or trainingto replenish glycogen stores and promote recovery (to be taken in addition to BCAAs)

Whatever your race refueling strategy, it is essential to test it in training, in order to find the right balance between salty and sweet, solid and liquid, isotonic drink and water, etc. The same goes for the amount of fluids you need to drink each hour. Pay attention to the conditions in which your race will take place: you will lose more fluids if it is hot.

Similarly, it is essential to know to what extent your body loses mineral salts when sweating. Indeed, each athlete sweats more or less “salty”. Over an effort of several hours, the excessive loss of mineral salts can lead to cramps because without salt, the body struggles to fix water. It may therefore be interesting to combine the socket electrolytes your race nutrition, especially on long formats (Ironman 70.3 and Ironman).

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Triathlon involves real muscle and joint stress

Cycling is a sport that combines aerobics and strength. As a result, it is a sport that causes real muscle fatigue, especially in the thighs. Chaining the running part can be very complicated because of this fatigue, to which is added the repetition of impacts on the ground. It is therefore essential to provide supplements allowing the body to limit this muscular fatigue, in order to be able to continue training.

BCAAs

These are amino acids that allow the body to make better use of proteins in order to repair the microlesions induced by training (it is moreover by repairing these microlesions that the body strengthens its muscles). By consuming these BCAAs right after training, or upon getting up on rest days, you optimize your muscle recovery capacities, and you will succeed in linking your workouts better. Your long-term performance will improve.

protein powder

Consuming protein in this form has a practical and metabolic benefit. Convenient, because a protein shaker can be taken everywhere, in order to be consumed immediately after training and thus benefit from the metabolic window. In this form, the body can easily ingest protein, because a shaker of whey is much more digestible than a piece of meat.

Joint care

Food supplements for the joints are also very useful for repair fractures faster, caused by shock or fatigue. In this specific case, take two daily doses at lunch and dinner, with 3g of vitamin C per day (spread over the 3 main meals).

The basics: vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Vitamins and minerals

Prioritize multi-vitamin complexes containing vitamin C, all B vitamins, vitamin E, A and D, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, iodine and chromium. Also, remember to take a spirulina supplement at every change of season. In addition to a varied dietthey make it possible to compensate for the losses caused by intensive training and the poverty of the foods we eat today.

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Antioxidants

And to fight against acidity?

Lactic acid buildup is a performance limiting factor, both during the effort and the recovery phase. Arginine, citrulline and beta-alanine are essential ingredients in pre, intra and post-workout preparations. In fact, they all have 3 the ability to buffer acidity and thus reduce the harmful effects of lactic acid in the muscle fibres:

  • Delayed and reduced muscle burn
  • Improved muscle pH balance during and after exercise
  • More complete muscle recovery
  • Reduced risk of injury

Here are the main supplements that can accompany your triathlon training. We wish you a very good training!

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