Triathlon Post Workout Nutrition

Triathlon Post Workout Nutrition & Recovery Food – UPDATED 2021

Triathlon post workout nutrition is just as important as training. In this article we look at recovery nutrition and how much or what you should be eating after each session.

Triathlon Post Workout Nutrition – A Complete Guide

One of the most common asked question from triathletes is “what should my post workout nutrition be?”

Whether you an amateur or elite triathlete an effective post-workout nutrition strategy can help optimize recovery. Doing so can help the right training adaption occur after your workouts.

For the amateur triathlete, post-workout nutrition is much more important than drinking a smoothie or having a post-workout protein shake. The recovery nutrition needed widely depends on the intensity of the workout, the volume, and the fitness level of the athlete. Not only that, but daily energy intake and (if you are a woman) menstruation cycle can play a part.

‘To get the most out of your triathlon post workout nutrition, you need to understand when to eat carbohydrates and protein. Also how much your intake is will affect your recovery.


Since muscle glycogen stores the majority of carbohydrates in the body, becoming the dominant fuel source for training, consuming the right amount of carbohydrates each day is important in replenishing muscle and liver glycogen levels. Doing so will help you continue to train consistently regardless of the duration or the intensity of a session.

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You should be aiming for 50-80g of carbohydrates after your workout or 1 to 1.2g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.


Even though the main source of fuel comes from carbohydrates and fats, having protein after your workout can help by stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

Even though there is an advantage to taking protein after a workout directly, the recovery period can actually be up to 24 hours. But it is recommended that the quicker you take in protein after exercise, the quicker the recovery period can start

You should be aiming for 15-25g of protein after your workout.

Triathlon Recovery Food

What To Eat After Triathlon?

As we have discussed it is important to know what to eat after training. First, we need to make sure we are taking in 50-80g of carbohydrates and 15+25g of protein post workout.

Then comes the question of what we should eat?

Focus on foods that a medium to high glycemic index and rich in glucose and sucrose. This will help to restore muscle glycogen levels to the previous amount. If you find that eating solid foods is more difficult after training, choose liquid calories instead. But try to get the right combination of carbohydrates and protein mixed together.

Some combinations of triathlon post workout nutrition are:

– 25g whey protein
– 2-3 boiled eggs
– Salmon
– Cereal with milk
– Greek yoghurt
– A chicken and salad bread roll
– Tuna wrap

Mixing some of these combinations together can bring you closer to the correct ratio. Such as 25g whey protein mixed with milk and cereal as a side dish or mixed together with the cereal.

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Triathlon Recovery Foods – What You Should Know?

As discussed in this article picking the right triathlon recovery foods isn’t so complicated. Even picking the right combination of carbohydrates and protein isn’t so difficult. But there are some important supplements such as Omega-3 and an increase in antioxidants in foods that should be included in your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Stress hormones such as cytokines can be elevated after a hard workout. That is why supplementation with Omega-4 fatty acids (EPA) can be helpful in modulating the stress response. Taking 1-2g of EPA daily can increase the amount in the body cells helping to increase protein breakdown and decrease protein synthesis.


Foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and strawberries can play an important role in reducing muscle soreness and inflammation after hard workouts.

All triathlon recovery foods or meals should generally include quality protein such as lean beef or fish and be accompanied by some type of carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, or potatoes. But it is also ok to treat yourself to a good pizza once in a while!

Best Recovery Drink For Triathletes

Best Recovery Drink For Triathletes

Nowadays the market is flooded with different types of recovery drinks promising the world, So is there a best recovery drink for triathletes? Yes and no, this entirely depends on the combination of protein and carbohydrate levels, and if they have any added supplementation mixed together such as antioxidants and amino acids.

Most recovery drinks on the market provide anywhere between 10g-25g of protein and up to 40g of carbohydrates per serving. the carbohydrate is usually a mix of dextrose, maltodextrin, and fructose. Although some recovery drinks mix maltodextrin and oat flour or whey protein with maltodextrin and fructose.

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If you more of a fan of making a homemade recovery drink, combinations such as protein powder mixed with milk, peanut butter, and a banana can offer a good enough combination for the average triathlete.

Remember hydration is just as important as your post-exercise meal, if not more important. So when you get home from training make sure you already start to hydrate through plain water or a recovery drink.

Best Recovery Foods For Triathletes

Since we have already gone into much depth. The best recovery foods for triathletes is the combination of the meal that gives you 15-25g of protein and 50-60g of carbohydrate.

While this general advice for the average athlete. Measuring the amount of protein and carbs per kg of body weight can give you are a more accurate number. Remember also trial and error can also help to understand the combination that works the best for each triathlete.

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