In fact a good diet makes a huge difference! It will decrease overall stress levels, help maintain or achieve optimum racing weight and give us more energy to train before and after a hard day at work (even when we don’t feel like it!).
Remember that exercising at high intensities causes damage in the cells of the body, high levels of lactic acid and stress in the actual cells. This is why we sometimes feel tired after exercise and experience muscle soreness. There is a high production of free radicals which cause cell damage. On top of this, pollution, stress and heat also damage cells.
Everyone has heard of the importance of anti oxidants. These clean up free radicals and reduce stress in the body. As a female triathlete you constantly need to replenish your level of antioxidants to combat the free radicals. This requires a proper diet packed with the right nutrients.
Whilst there are may books written on the triathlete’s diet, they all come back to the same basis- eat natural food, loads of fruit and vegetables and plenty of water. Triathletes need more anti oxidants than the average sedentary person. Ditch processed foods, junk food, excessive coffee, alcohol and sugar.
As a rough guide I have listed some foods that are full of antioxidants to give you an idea of what you should be eating on a regular basis to help boost your levels and fight the free radicals in your system.
Pineapple, bananas, broccoli, chicken, fish, beans, peas, carrots, eggs, fish oils, oranges, nuts and seeds, peppers, cucumber and so on. There is so much choice you can never get bored. Use your imagination. Smoothies are another great way to get in a few servings of fruit in the one serving.
If you choose not to eat a majority of antioxidants, your training will suffer, you will take longer to recover from sessions and you will not be getting the results you deserve from all your training. So reach for the fruit and vegetables- organic where possible and you will feel the difference very quickly.