Chew On This: Being Mindful of Nutrition

Chew On This: Being Mindful of Nutrition

This post originally appeared in the February, 2016 Toronto Triathlon Festival Newsletter.

A lot of people say they train so they can eat whatever they like.  I encourage athletes to reverse this thinking and eat to support their training instead.  This leads to better quality workouts and quicker recovery.


Without getting into a calorie-by-calorie analysis, here are a few suggestions to help change your mindset and promote good fuelling choices:

  • Make nutrition part of your overall plan. We’d all like to swim, bike or run multiple times everyday (right?), but reality rarely allows this. The good news is that you still have an opportunity to affect your performance 3x per day—thanks to the food you eat.
  • Avoid the garbage in-garbage out cycle. Treat your body like a high performance car – given the choice, wouldn’t you fill your tank with premium gas?
  • Why do you eat? Hopefully it’s because you’re biologically hungry.  Other reasons might be include habit, stress or emotion.  If you’re aware of the “why”, then you can ask yourself “should I?”
  • Use sports drinks, bars and gels wisely. Is it really necessary to load up on sugar before or during a 30 – 45 minute workout?  I say, “no”.
  • Water – there is rarely a time when you’ll be drinking too much.  Make your bottle an extension of your arm wherever you go and you’ll never be thirsty again!  (Oh, and clean your bottles often too).

You might think you’ll never get to have another beer or slice of pie (or any fun), but like most aspects of training I emphasize big picture thinking.  Although naughty indulgences are not part of a regular plan, we are human and we need our vices.  Just keep an eye on the number of “misses”, how often they occur and when your next workout is. 

Eating well is a massive opportunity to turn your “roadside diner” performance into a 5 star experience!

-Coach Jas

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