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Five Common Nutrition Mistakes Triathletes Make

on February 20, 2021

THIS week, we are delighted to have leading exercise physiologists and nutrition researchers Dr Sam Shepherd and Dr Jules Strauss write this specialist article for CurraNZ customers and athletes (bios at the bottom of the article).

Drs Shepherd and Strauss are founders of Total Endurance Nutrition, a new UK-based, international nutrition coaching and consultancy service for endurance athletes and triathletes.

With their research-informed advice and depth of experience in this field, here they reveal the common nutrition mistakes that triathletes make.


From under-fuelling to inadequate recovery from training, here are the common mistakes to avoid

WORKING in this field, we know that nutrition can make a huge difference to the outcome of anyone’s race day whether they are there to compete for a podium, complete the distance for a personal challenge or anywhere in between.

In our experience, athletes are aware of the importance of race day nutrition. 

But, something that is often overlooked and is actually more critical is creating positive daily nutrition habits that allow an athlete to maximise the benefit of their training.  Here we look at five common mistakes we see triathletes make. 


  1. Under fuelling training – The demands of triathlon training can be tough. Eating enough to ensure you hit those key sessions is important, and under fuelling also means that recovery takes longer.

  1. Inadequate recovery from training – Endurance athletes often train multiple times a day. Ensuring adequate recovery from each session is key to consistent training. We often find that athletes consider consuming some protein after training. However, refilling muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores is also important so that we have adequate energy ready for the next session. Consuming carbohydrate and protein in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs-to-protein) helps to optimise recovery.

  1. Poor protein intake – As an endurance athlete, daily protein intake should be in the region of 1.5-2.0 grams per kg of body weight. A rigorous training schedule requires regular intake of protein to support recovery and adaptations of our muscles. This means consuming protein at regular intervals through the day (e.g. 30g, 4 times a day) and not only reaching for that protein shake/protein rich food after a hard training session.


  1. Food Quality – We often hear athletes say that their high training volume means they can “eat what they want”. This can often mean though that food quality and nutrient density is poor. Ensuring adequate intake of fruit and vegetables is key to ensuring good levels of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the diet. All of which ensure the body functions optimally and adapts to training effectively.


  1. Race Nutrition – Athletes are aware of the need to train for fitness in preparation for a race, but often overlooked is the importance of training the gut. Middle-to-long distance racing requires a lot of carbohydrate and it can take time and practice for your gut to adapt to these high carbohydrate intakes. Having a robust nutrition plan is key to achieving and exceeding your race day expectations. 


For information on how Total Endurance Nutrition can help you avoid these pitfalls, head over to their website For all enquires please contact

Facebook: Total Endurance Nutrition
IG: total_endurance_nutrition


Meet the Total Endurance Nutrition team

Dr Sam Shepherd, PhD, RNutr (Sport & Exercise)

Sam is a registered nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for endurance sports, particularly triathlon, cycling and running. 

He works with a range of athletes from enthusiasts to those competing at the elite level, to refine and optimise their diet and nutrition plans to benefit both their lifestyle and maximise sports performance. 

This advice is built on 12 years’ experience as a researcher, lecturer and practitioner in the exercise physiology and nutrition field.  He currently works at Liverpool John Moores University as a Senior Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Nutrition, and is the co-founder of Total Endurance Nutrition.


Dr Jules Strauss, PhD, RNutr (Sport & Exercise)

Jules has 12 years’ experience in exercise physiology and nutrition research, lecturing and consultancy.  As a registered nutritionist she works with athletes of all ages across all levels of competition with a particular specialism in endurance sport and the female athlete. 

Her work in sports nutrition research means that her practice is always research-informed with a high level of attention to detail, using the latest developments in sports nutrition to enhance the advice and support she provides to her athletes. She currently works at Liverpool John Moores University as a Senior Lecturer in Exercise & Health Metabolism, and is the co-founder of Total Endurance Nutrition.

At Total Endurance Nutrition, we work with many endurance athletes who undertake a high training load week in and week out, despite often being stretched for time.


Trusted researchers involved in the CurraNZ scientific program

As researchers and nutritionists, we understand the benefits of using CurraNZ, having investigated and published on the many health and performance benefits of this product over the last six years. CurraNZ has benefits to athletes for recovery, enhancing fat oxidation during exercise, improving daily glucose control, and also supporting immune function.  These are all important for any endurance athlete, and it is for this reason we are confident to recommend CurraNZ to our clients.