The Best Snacks for Triathlon Training
When you are training for a triathlon, your workouts are only as good as your nutrition plan! It is so important to commit to a triathlon nutrition plan that is wholesome, healthy, quick and easy (because time is always short when you are training for a triathlon) while still tasting good.
But, my number one mantra when it comes to the food I eat while training is: Avoid getting hungry. While training for a triathlon, I find myself needing to eat every 2-3 hours to avoid getting “hangry.” If you are not eating regularly, your mood may suffer and you also may find yourself making questionable food decisions (ie: eating things that may not be good for you).
So, how do you avoid becoming hungry? Stock up on healthy snacks!
SMOOTHIES: The Triathlete’s Go-To Snack
The best thing about smoothies is you can use whatever you happen to have in the fridge. The more nutrients you can pack into these little drinks, the better. Smoothies are easy to consume, quick to make and fill you up with wholesome nutrition.
When it comes to the ingredients you use in your smoothie, try to avoid fruit juice and go for FROZEN fruit. Over-ripe bananas? Throw them into the freezer and use them for your smoothies. Using frozen fruits helps you avoid using ice (which really just waters down the nutrients in your smoothie) while getting all the benefits of fresh fruit. Also, avoid adding sugars or using any yogurt with added sugar.
Whenever I can, I like to add kale, spinach, edamame (will give your smoothie a creamy consistency), sweet potato or anything green. Veggies can add a powerful nutrient punch without compromising flavor.
My current favorite smoothie is so TASTY!
- Organic sweet cherries
- Milk (any kind, but cow or soy has the most protein of all the options)
- Scoop of whey protein powder
- Chia seeds**
- Pinch of flax seeds
- Fresh spearmint from my little Brooklyn herb garden
**Speaking of chia seeds, of all the fad super-foods, I think chia seeds are actually worthy of the claim. They are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3s and micronutrients and are one of the best natural sources of nutrients calorie for calorie. Chia seeds also have antioxidants to help heal damaged cells and aid in recovery as well as micronutrients that may help with bone health and potentially lower inflammation and blood pressure.
Other Quick, Healthy Snacks
- Plain cottage cheese, low-fat ricotta or Greek yogurt: You can always add chia seeds, nuts, whole fruits or granola to jazz it up.
- Coconut water with a scoop of high quality protein powder
- Hard-boiled eggs: Rolled in a little salt and pepper or even sesame seeds.
- Celery with nut butter and dried fruit on top
- Whole fruit: banana, apples, strawberries, grapes, etc.---I usually like to combine these with a scoop of nut butter, a small handful of nuts or a hard-boiled egg
- String cheese
- Kale or bean chips
- Whole food BARS like Lara Bars or Kind bars
- Beef jerky
- Small handful of nuts
- Sometimes I’ll make my own muffins from scratch or from a box, but whenever I do I make sure to add more nutritional value: chia seeds, carrots, coconut shreds, nuts, you name it.
- PROBIOTICS! Found in foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, dark chocolate, pickles and tempeh & KOMBUCHA (MY FAVORITE!). I’m a big fan of foods containing probiotics, because they help maintain healthy gut flora, may help with your immune system and they help your body absorb other nutrients.
What are some of your favorite snacks to have while training? Share with us @LivCycling #TryATri