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Unveiling the Secrets of a Triathlete's Diet

May 17, 2024

In the world of triathlon, relentless training isn't enough—you need the right fuel to power you through not one, but three sports. The triathlete's diet is more than just food; it's a strategic plan that keeps your energy levels up, recovery fast and performance at its best. So let's break down the essentials of what goes into a triathlete’s diet, why it matters and how you can optimise your own nutrition for maximum results.

Why Nutrition is Key for Triathletes

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of a triathlete's diet, let's talk about why nutrition is so crucial for triathlon. Triathlons are not your average Sunday morning jog —they are a test of endurance and stamina, making nutrition a crucial piece of the performance puzzle.

Think of it this way: Would you drive your car across the country on an empty tank? Didn't think so. Your body needs fuel too, and not just any fuel. Premium grade.

A well-balanced triathlon diet ensures you've got the energy to power...

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What Should I Eat as a Triathlete?

May 10, 2024

Triathlons are one of the most challenging (and awesome) multi-sport events, combining swimming, cycling, and running into a single race. Triathletes are dedicated individuals who love to train hard, often balancing training with work and family life. 

They train to test their limits, improve their health, and achieve personal goals. Becoming a triathlete requires a lot of commitment, but it's also incredibly rewarding.

I'm Taryn Richardson, the founder of Dietitian Approved and I’ve been working with triathletes for 15 years, helping them reach their performance goals through my Triathlon Nutrition Academy program. In this article, I'll share insights into what triathletes should eat to boost their performance, aid recovery, and stay hydrated during training and races.

What a Triathlete Eats for Performance

When it comes to triathlon training, nutrition plays a crucial role in providing the energy needed to endure long endurance sessions and high-intensity workouts....

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How Many Calories Should a Triathlete Eat?

May 03, 2024

Triathlon is an endurance sport that requires a significant amount of energy. It consists of three different disciplines: swimming, cycling, and running, all performed in immediate succession over various distances. As such, triathletes need to fuel their bodies appropriately to meet the high energy demands of their rigorous training and competition schedules. This brings us to the question - how many calories should a triathlete eat? In this blog post, we will delve into the world of triathlon nutrition and provide some insights into this important aspect.

Understanding Caloric Needs

The number of calories a triathlete needs can vary greatly depending on several factors including age, gender, weight, body composition, training volume and intensity, goals and medical history. However, as a rough guide, triathletes can require anywhere between 2,500 to 7,000 calories per day (10.4MJ – 29.2MJ). That's a huge range right?!

But there is no one size fits all with nutrition. And your...

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The Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Killing Your Triathlon Race Times

Apr 18, 2024

As a triathlete that loves to push their body to the limit, maintaining a balanced intake of essential nutrients is vital. Unfortunately, nutrient deficiencies are a common problem that can significantly impact your training and racing performance. Sometimes without you even knowing there's a problem!

Ensure you're optimising these three nutrients in your diet as an endurance athlete if you want to train harder and race faster:

Key Nutrient Deficiencies in Triathletes


Iron deficiency is unfortunately prevalent among endurance athletes. It’s a critical component of haemoglobin, which plays a key role in transporting oxygen around the body from your lungs to the working muscles and other tissues. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, characterised by fatigue, tiredness, weakness and a noticeable decline in performance. Triathletes should aim to include iron-rich foods like lean meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables such as spinach in their diet. But...

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Swim Smarter: Expert Tips to Fix Common Technique Mistakes

Feb 23, 2024

Want to transform from flailing to fast and fluid in the water? Effortless Swimming coach Brenton Ford shares his insider view on frequent flaws undermining many triathletes’ swim potential.

As a leading technique guru analysing thousands of underwater videos, he’s honed an eagle eye for subtle things sabotaging speed and efficiency. 


Take note of these common trending mistakes:

Over Rotating

Instagram makes rolling almost 90 degrees tempting. But for efficient forward propulsion, most athletes benefit from a narrower 30-40 degree rotational range using core strength rather than momentum.

Excess drag from pivoting too far simply slows you down. It also stresses the rotator cuff and compromises arm position entering the water. Think "rock the boat" not "capsize the boat"!


Exaggerating Cues

Many triathletes overcook helpful coaching cues into performance-limiting extremes:

High elbow recovery becomes restrictive jamming the arm against the torso rather...

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Strategies to fuel for triathlon when you have no appetite with Jody Walker

Feb 09, 2024

Proper fueling is essential for triathletes to get optimal performance during intense training and competitions. Some athletes, like Jody Walker, find themselves without an appetite, making it challenging to consume the necessary calories and nutrients. Jody joins me on the podcast for the third time today, to share her experience and the strategies she implements to overcome this hurdle.


Shifting to Lower Fiber Options:

Before joining the Triathlon Nutrition Academy, Jody’s diet was designed around naturopathic principles, and while she ate good food it wasn’t suitable for triathlon training. One big issue was her high fiber intake, which left her feeling full and made it difficult to consume sufficient carbohydrates for optimal training and recovery. To combat this, Jody shifted to lower-fiber options and adjusted her carbohydrate sources, helping her feel more comfortable and meet her energy needs.

Fueling your body without an appetite: 

To combat...

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Must-Read Book for Female Athletes: Up to Speed

Jan 26, 2024

It was an absolute thrill to chat with journalist and author Christine Yu about her groundbreaking new book “Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Female Athletes”.

This epic 500+ page volume comprehensively synthesizes the latest science around optimising women’s health and performance in sport. The wide range of topics explored span physiology, hormones, nutrition, injury prevention, mental health, sexuality, sports equipment design, policy reform and much more.

As Christine dug into many hundreds of studies and interviews over 18 months of intensive research for the book, some clear and concerning themes emerged:

  • We are only just beginning to unravel even basic functional knowledge around the intricacies of the female body and how sex differences impact all aspects of human performance and experience. Research specifically exploring female physiology and health remains largely underfunded compared to males.
  • Outdated paternalistic attitudes have actively...
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Nutrition Game Changers: Success Secrets from TNA Alumni

Jan 12, 2024





To dive deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast, EP 128 - Nutrition Game Changers: Success Secrets from TNA Alumni   

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


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Five Triathlon Sports Nutrition Trends for 2024

Jan 05, 2024

Stay ahead of the curve on the latest sports nutrition developments with an inside look at key trends on the rise.


As an advanced sports dietitian and high performance triathlon coach, I’m keeping tabs on emerging evidence, new technologies and shifts in thinking that impact how athletes fuel best.

Here are 5 key triathlon sports nutrition trends I predict gaining traction in 2024:


1. Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Wearable continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) measure real-time interstitial fluid glucose levels via a tiny filament sitting under your skin. These devices are exploding in popularity thanks to the allure of seeing live “fuel gauge” data during exercise.

But don’t be fooled - a CGM does NOT indicate muscle glycogen levels (your actual energy stores). The relationship between blood and muscle fuel reserves is complex.

More concerning is the lack of clear normative CGM data ranges for athletes to interpret readings accurately....

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Triathlon Triumphs: The year that was 2023

Dec 07, 2023

Recapping key nutrition lessons learned and top performances from 2023, plus outlining my plans to help you smash your goals in the upcoming year!


Key Triathlon Moments of 2023

Some epic triathlon moments from the past year that stood out to me include:

  • Lucy Charles-Barclay’s record-breaking Kona win. Her time of 8:24:31 sets a new course record for the women’s field.
  • Kona age grouper Leanne W’s inspiring finish. Despite a tough lead-in, she persevered to cross the line in Kailua-Kona.
  • Gwen Jorgensen’s impressive comeback. She’s racking up podiums in her bid to make the 2024 Olympic team. Definitely one to watch!
  • Smashing PBs and podiums for my Academy athletes like Jody, Erin, Kathleen, Kelly, Lynn, Cheryl, Ciaran, and Krystal. Too many wins to name!

I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on your own personal triumphs and achievements over the past 12 months. Celebrate how far you’ve come!



Nutrition Wins for Me


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