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Are You Struggling With 3:30itis? Why You’re Tired In The Afternoon and How To Avoid It

Nov 10, 2022

What is three-thirty-itis?

  • Have you ever experienced a slump in energy after lunch? Where you feel tired and would love to take a nap?
  • Or maybe you crave sweets here to give you a pick-me-up thanks to the sugar rush and just can't stop nibbling.
  • Or maybe, you're the person who reaches for another coffee to get you through.

Chances are if any of these things sound familiar – your nutrition needs a shake up.

What causes three-thirty-itis?

When it comes to the afternoon slump, typically the cause is what you've done, or not done with your nutrition earlier in the day

How do you prevent three-thirty-itis in your triathlon diet?

Without knowing exactly what you eat, here are some general guidelines to get to the bottom of why you fade in the afternoons. Let's start with lunch and work backward to the start of the day.

Triathlon Nutrition - Lunch

  • Is your lunch balanced? Does it contain all the macro and micronutrients you need to perform at your best?
  • Is your plate perfectly formulated and designed for what you need at that time? As in, is it periodised to your current training load?
  • Did you get scared and cut back carbohydrates? Or did you cut carbs completely out?
  • Did you put enough protein on your plate?

 If you think you got this right, maybe the morning snack could be the issue

Triathlon Nutrition - Morning Tea Snack

  • Did you include a morning snack? Do you need to?
  • If you did include a snack, is it the right mix of nutrients for what you need?

Triathlon Nutrition - Recovery Breakfast

  • Your recovery nutrition is a BIG factor you need to get right if you want to be successful in the sport
  • Does your recovery breakfast tick all of the right boxes for you?
  • Do you know how to build your perfect recovery meal?

Not getting your recovery nutrition right, is a huge factor in how the rest of your day shakes out. Skimp here, and you'll suffer later on in the afternoon.

Triathlon - During Training Nutrition

What you eat during a triathlon training session is really important when it comes to your afternoon energy levels. But what you have during training, depends on your training and goals.

I'm a big believer that you should periodise your nutrition to where you’re at in your season and what you are trying to achieve. You need to get strategic to maximise your performance in the sport.

And be careful with under-fuelling during training as this can set you up badly for the rest of the day.

Triathlon - Pre-Training Nutrition

What you eat before a training session, can have a huge impact on your energy levels throughout the day.

Do you have a strategy for your pre-training nutrition? If not, you should have one. Because it's not a blanket rule. You need to periodise your pre-training nutrition, rather than do the same thing all the time.

Take home

There is a lot you can get wrong when it comes to triathlon nutrition. But there is also a lot you can get right with knowledge and understanding of what you need to be doing. If you are continually suffering from 3.30-itis, check in with what you've been eating in the day leading up to this afternoon window.

If you need help, join us inside the Triathlon Nutrition Academy!


To dive deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast, EP 67 - Are You Struggling With 3:30itis? Why You’re Tired In The Afternoon and How To Avoid It

If you are interested in learning more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Program and what it can do for you, head HERE to join the waitlist for our next opening.



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