The food and drink you intake serve as fuel for your body during your training, so it’s an important aspect of your training.
When possible, try to eat whole foods, or foods that have not been processed or modified from their natural state. Processed foods tend to be significantly less healthy than whole foods. Not only are vital nutrients often removed from the whole foods, the processed foods also contain chemicals or other foreign substances. Even when processed foods are “vitamin-enriched”, they are still lacking irreplaceable nutrients that only occur in nature.
It’s also important to eat a variety of whole foods. There’s not a “perfect food” on earth that provides you with all the nutrients that you need as a triathlete. You’ll want to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, and vegetable fats (plant oils, seeds, etc.) to be sure and provide your body with adequate fuel for training. Each group of foods provides a unique blend of vitamins and nutrients.
Whole grains should be your primary source of carbohydrates and should be consumed at virtually every meal, including snacks. Fruits and vegetables provide the body with countless vitamins and minerals. Healthy vegetable fats absorbed from foods such as seeds, nuts, their oils, olives and olive oil not only help fortify the body’s brain and nervous systems, but also serve as a source of energy. Meats and dairy foods provide a high level of protein and calcium respectively.