Fitness Fuel: Nutrition Tips from a Pro Triathlete

An elite Ironman athlete shares her top tips for fueling like a pro

Whether you’re a runner, a cyclist or triathlete, no matter what your sport of choice, nutrition is a key component of training; most would argue it’s equally as important as the workouts you do to prepare your body for race day.  

What you eat becomes fuel for your body, the quality of your food as well as meal timing and hydration all play a significant role in how well you perform, both during training and when it’s time to race.

Perhaps no one understands this concept better than a pro athlete. After all, they must do everything they can to make sure they’re on their A-game one hundred percent of the time; their careers depend on it.

Linsey Corbin is a professional triathlete and Ironman champion. She placed 12th at this year’s Ironman World Championships in Kona and has completed 19 Ironman races over the course of her incredible career

Being an advocate for smart fueling strategies, she recently signed on with KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat, an organic, heirloom grain that’s been touted as the next great superfood for athletes.  

Khorasan wheat is ideal for endurance athletes like Corbin because it’s said to be abundant in both healthy fats and antioxidants, which help to improve recovery time by reducing oxidative stress.

It’s one of the high-quality, whole grain carbohydrate sources that Corbin recommends athletes use for fuel in her tips below.

Continue reading to find out more of her expert nutrition tips.

1. Fuel With Carbohydrates: Athletes need approximately 55-65% of their calories to come from carbohydrates, as they feed your muscles when running. Carb intake should come from "high-quality" whole grains that offer immediate energy and lipids to store additional fuel.

2. Power With Protein: Protein provides amino acids which aid in building and repairing muscle. The USDA’s recommended dietary allowance for protein is .8 g/kg of bodyweight and 1.0 to 1.6 g/kg a day for endurance athletes. Good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, fish, lean cuts of beef, eggs, nuts, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses.

3. Keep Hydrated: It’s also important to drink approximately 6 to 8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes. This can include either water or other fluids including sports drinks or energy gels. Hydration when running is important, especially during the hot summer months, as it provides you with energy and replaces the electrolytes you lose in sweat during a long distance running events.

4. Before/After Nutrition: Eating helps your body to repair, recover and reduce the chance of injury or illness. Consume your pre-workout meal 30 minutes before your run and your post-workout meal within 45 minutes after completing your run. Try eating a combination of protein and carbohydrates and avoid fat, fiber and anything that triggers stomach discomfort. (Corbin says one of her favorite pre-race breakfast meals is the KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat hot cereal with banana.)