Sports Med. 2005;35(2):163-81.
Nutritional considerations in triathlon.
Jeukendrup AE, Jentjens RL, Moseley L.
SourceHuman Performance Laboratory, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. A.E.Jeukendrup@bham.ac.uk
Triathlon combines three disciplines (swimming, cycling and running) and competitions last between 1 hour 50 minutes (Olympic distance) and 14 hours (Ironman distance). Independent of the distance, dehydration and carbohydrate (CHO) depletion are the most likely causes of fatigue in triathlon, whereas gastrointestinal (GI) problems, hyperthermia and hyponatraemia are potentially health threatening, especially in longer events. Although glycogen supercompensation may be beneficial for triathlon performance (even Olympic distance), this does not necessarily have to be achieved by the traditional supercompensation protocol. More recently, studies have revealed ways to increase muscle glycogen concentrations to very high levels with minimal modifications in diet and training. During competition, cycling provides the best opportunity to ingest fluids. The optimum CHO concentration seems to be in the range of 5-8% and triathletes should aim to achieve a CHO intake of 60-70 g/hour. Triathletes should attempt to limit body mass losses to 1% of body mass. In all cases, a drink should contain sodium (30-50 mmol/L) for optimal absorption and prevention of hyponatraemia.Post-exercise rehydration is best achieved by consuming beverages that have a high sodium content (>60 mmol/L) in a volume equivalent to 150% of body mass loss.