Although sports nutrition was always of great interest to me, my curiosity only grew as I started my journey through the sport of triathlon. The more that I learned, the more I came to realize that proper nutrition truly is the fourth discipline.
As the length of my races became longer, the importance of nutrition and fueling grew. I also began to observe an ever-growing trend among friends and fellow triathletes—that of walking marathons, ugly race finishes, dehydration issues and a "cramping stagger" at the finish line. Athletes who had made tremendous sacrifices, and logged a ridiculous amount of volume were extremely disappointed by less-than-stellar results, far below the expectations they thought themselves capable.
How could an athlete dedicate so much time to this sport, yet crash and burn at every race distance? I had trained with them, and knew that they had produced far better results on a simple training day than on race day. Could it be that nutrition was becoming more and more of a limiting factor?
I knew that nutrition played a significant role in the above outcomes, but I never really researched its depth until I began dedicating a larger portion of my practice to the field of sports nutrition. Now, the athletes that I work with know, without any doubt, that we focus not only on pre-fueling for a workout, but also on fueling the workout itself and post-workout recovery.
Add to this the importance of day-to-day nutrition that focuses on core diet principles, and the athlete, as a whole, is fully prepared to absorb the rigors of training from a nutritional standpoint.
Part and parcel to this is hydration. Hydration plays an overwhelming role in athletic performance and overall well-being.
Following are two accounts of real people, producing real results, simply by making changes to their nutritional approach.