What is an adequate diet? There are many trends today, many myths, many different products, an impressive boom in the supplementation industry, many people (of all kinds) who recommend things ... who to listen to and who not?
Both in sport and outside it, the way we eat is something fundamental to our health and for the perfect functioning of our organism. But if we focus on sport, it is even more relevant to follow an adequate diet and nutrition since it can help us a lot to feel better, to perform more and not to injure ourselves (or to injure ourselves less) ... everything that any triathlete seeks in his day a day.
And what is an adequate diet? There are many trends today, many myths, many different products, an impressive boom in the supplementation industry, many people (of all kinds) who recommend things ... who to listen to and who not? When we want to make specific changes in our nutrition or follow a specific diet, it is best to go to a sports dietitian-nutritionist with a university degree, and with specific training in sports (Not everyone has it), since that is the best guarantee for doing things well and knowing that with the nutrition guidelines we follow, we are not jeopardizing our long-term health.
We are seeing in recent months that more and more professional and non-professional triathletes are changing the way they eat towards trends that at first seem strange to what has always been done in the world of sports ... take less carbohydrates to train and compete? Eliminate cereals from the diet? vegetarianism? Not eating gluten? ... Iván Raña and Eneko Llanos are some of the examples that we could put that in recent months they are making changes of this type to improve their performance and health as athletes.
And we see that yes, that it can, and that all triathlete feeding does not consist of eating pasta and rice, there is life far beyond that. But to make any change to that type of diet (or whatever), it is best to put yourself in the hands of professionals (dietitians-nutritionists as I said before) so as not to take unfortunate surprises in the short, medium and / or long term.
But as general recommendations, what can we do? I am just going to talk about some basic points that help improve diet in general and our state of health.
1. Practice "real food",
that is, always choose unprocessed foods when possible. We should get used to buying more in the market than in the supermarket, and buying real food and not "products". Fruits and vegetables should be the basis of our diet, not cereals as the classic food pyramids have led us to think. And if we consume local products much better, a tomato grown a few km from where we live will always be much fresher and will have many more properties when we buy and consume it than if it comes from another much more distant area, which has passed through cold rooms for several days and traveled thousands of km to reach our sales area.
2. Get used to reading the ingredients of the products you usually buy.
And I mean the list of ingredients that what you are eating carries, not the nutritional assessment table, that is almost the least important. The fewer "weird names" and E-you see in the ingredients of what you buy much better, your intestine and your body will thank you very much.
3. It is always a good idea to lower sugar from your diet.
Not only that of coffee in the morning, but all the added sugar that we eat in processed products and that many times we do not even stop to look (in the ingredients): vegetable milk, corn, bread, fried tomato ... Although it is true that The only problem with today's diets is not just sugar, it is a good starting point to start looking at.
4. Don't be afraid of "good" fats.
For any athlete it is essential to consume quality fats: nuts, blue fish, avocado ... it is much healthier to eat, for example, a natural whole yogurt than a skimmed sugary one. Fat is going to do your body much better than sugar.
5 Introduce raw vegetables and fruits daily into your diet.
Yes, although fruits and vegetables are good the way you make them, the less we cook them the more nutrients they conserve, get used to eating, for example, both at lunch and at dinner, raw vegetable salad, most vegetables can be eaten raw although we are not very used to doing it.
6. If you have a good diet, do not take supplements like crazy, surely you do not need them.
The supplementation that is introduced into our diet must always be indicated and supervised by a specialized sports nutritionist. That is the only way that what we take is truly effective so that it achieves the effect that we are looking for, and that it is well compensated with the diet.
7. Do not forget to hydrate yourself throughout the day with water.
Although it seems pretty basic, it forgets much more than it seems.
These are just some general guidelines to start eating a healthier diet, to do something more individualized to the needs of each one and for everything else it is best to put yourself in the hands of dietitians-nutritionists. It is easy to understand that sports performance depends a lot on the "gasoline" we put into our body, therefore the more we take care of this aspect, in addition to health we can take care of, enhance and improve the training and performance of any athlete.
Dra. Mª Angeles Sanchez