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. There’s minimal quality research guiding best practice use and analysis in sport.

Tread carefully and avoid drastic nutrition changes based on snapshot CGM data. Focus on learning your individual responses through consistent long-term tracking correlated to training and lifestyle factors.

Key opportunities as research expands may include detecting patterns of overnight low blood glucose and screening protocols for low energy availability.

 

 

2. The Spotlight on Female Athletes

The female athlete space is booming with emerging nutrition research and products tailored to our unique needs across the menstrual cycle.

But recognize most recommendations are NOT backed by solid evidence – we lack clear guidelines given high individual variability in cycle length, hormone levels and associated symptoms.

Priority basics I advise female athletes:

  • Track your cycle & symptom variability
  • Maintain optimal energy availability
  • Experiment & find what works best for YOU

Monitor this area as insightful new learnings develop. But focus first on nailing the nutrition fundamentals that benefit all athletes regardless of sex.

 

 

3. The Decline of Fasting Diets

Intermittent fasting approaches have remained popular for years but I’m calling time of death as fancy commercial “fasting” snacks like energy bars creep onto the market – defeating the whole purpose!

The concept will soon fade as public interest wanes in frustration over poor long-term sustainability and mixed effects on body composition goals.

Timing your food intake can be a useful tool but isn’t magic. Get back to nutrition basics rather than restrictive gimmicks for lasting fuel and health gains.

 

 

4. Rethinking “Race Weight” Culture

A discernible shift is occurring away from fixation on specific body composition targets deemed “optimal” for performance.

We’re embracing powerfully muscular frames, increased strength and a focus on health not number chasing. Light and lean doesn’t always mean faster race times.

I predict language transforming around body composition with less focus on frequent measurement and more emphasis on appropriate fuelling.

 

 

5. Rise of Adaptogens

You’ll notice more sports products featuring adaptogens – non-toxic herbs and plants claimed to enhance resilience to physical stress.

Think ginger, rhodiola rosea, ashwagandha, etc. They won’t immediately boost performance but may cumulatively help some athletes manage heightened training demands.

The key term though is “adapt” – any benefits grow slowly over time. Don’t waste money seeking quick fixes from adaptogens when foundational nutrition still needs work.

 

The Bottom Line

New sports nutrition trends can inspire exciting possibilities but the bedrock principles remain unchanged – consistency, patience, and balance are key.

Before chasing the latest fad, ensure your basic nutrition habits align with your needs and goals.

 

 

To dive deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast, EP 127 – Five Triathlon Sports Nutrition Trends for 2024  

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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