The power of fueling the athlete

By Chelsea White on 13/11/15 at 4:26 pm

They say to treat the body like a temple, and in the case for a triathlete, that temple needs a little extra maintenance. With all of the long, versatile and intense training, balancing ones’ nutrition and hydration is extremely important in order to maintain the health, wellness and physicality of the athlete.

“Food can be used by triathletes to reduce the risk of injury and illness, facilitate adaptation to training and enhance race day performance.” Dr. Kevin Curell said.

Curell, a professor in the English Institute of Sport at Loughborough University, is scheduled to speak at the third Science and Triathlon Conference in Paris November 26-27. He will be discussing how an athlete can use food as a means of fuel and power to ensure peak performance when it comes to racing.

While keeping a nutritious diet seems to be common sense, the practice can be easier said than done. A fact that Curell understands.

“Providing sufficient energy and micronutrients to support training is essential to prevent injury and illness.  However, in practice this is difficult for a triathlete to do due to time constraints of training and changes in appetite.”

Joining Curell at the conference is Paul Laursen from Millennium Institute of Sport & Health of New Zealand. He will be addressing the reaction of the body in extreme conditions and the importance of staying hydrated.

“Exercising in hot conditions increases the storage of heat in the body, as shown by the rise in core temperature. Thermoreceptors located throughout the body detect the thermal change, and relay this information to the brain, creating a subconscious lowering of motor output. This response lowers the rate of heat production from the contracting skeletal muscles to minimize possible thermal injury, but performance is also reduced.” quotes Laursen.

Laursen continues, “In summary, I will be presenting on strategies for maximizing performance in extreme conditions include the development of aerobic fitness through training, heat acclimatization, pre-exercise cooling that is practical, and drinking cold fluid and ice slushie drinks before and during exercise according to the dictates of thirst and at appropriately strategic times.”

To join the Science and Triathlon Conference, book your spot here.