Sorry about the lack of blogs recently I am currently over in the UK for a conference. So what better than to write about travel eating!
Going to different cities means different food types, quantities, lack of sleep and also more temptations than back home. So far I have travelled around the UK and to say the least the serving sizes are a lot bigger than, the chocolate and sweet selection is tens times the selection back home and I have been offered food constantly. So what do you do to maintain your training levels, get all your essential nutrients and not put on those extra kilos without missing out on the food that different cities offer???
I have put together 8 tips to help you out in order to help your nutrient when you travel.
1. Research the destination:
Researching the place you will be going is essential in order to learn what you will be eating and how it will affect your nutrition. Knowing what is available e.g. will you have access to a supermarket or cooking facilities means you can plan out your meals. Some countries will have no familiar foods so researching the key food items and their nutritional content can be helpful to have the right nutrient intake while having little-non cooking facilities can lead to no control on what and how your food is being cooked.
2. Buy healthy snacks:
A good start to making sure you have the right nutrients is to buy the right snacks from the moment you start travelling. Don’t go for the chocolate or chips choose suitable healthy snacks.
This can include: Dried fruit and nuts
Popcorn (limited butter and salt)
Muesli or Sports Bars
Yogurt or Creamed Rice
3. Don’t give into temptation:
There are a lot of different foods overseas, with some not so good for you. It is important to try the food if you want to try it to get those new food experiences but just make sure you don’t eat the whole packet. Having a little tester and limiting yourself to just that will stop over indulgence and keep you on the right track for your nutrient intake.
4. Try fit in as much training as possible:
When travelling it is hard to fit in training, especially if you are going long distances. Try fit in your training (even if its in the plane or bus). This means you are still burning enough energy so you can keep up your diet without having to cut back on your needed essential nutrients.
5. Try not drink to much alcohol:
Alcohol dehydrates you. Limit the amount you are drinking if you are training and competing until after you have finished. If you decide to drink go for the light option and have a glass of water for each alcoholic drink you consume. Keep your drink count to 1-2 and make sure it is only consumed once all recovery and rehydration meals have been consumed.
6. Get some sleep:
Plan your travel to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to excess food consumption and poor nutrient intake. Try not take stimulants when you are travelling and get enough sleep as possible. If you are changing time zones make sure you know what time you are arriving and plan your meals ahead of time to not disrupt your sleep patterns.
7. Don’t eat all the meals you are offered:
It is easy when you are travelling to eat everything you are given but it doesn’t mean it fits with your nutrition plan. Try keep track of what you are eating, not eating the right food or too much can be detrimental to your training and performance. Saying no to extra food offered is essential to stick to your nutrition plan.
8. Keep up your fluids:
Drinking enough fluid is important, especially before, during and after flying. Mild dehydration can affect your physical and mental performance. Having drink bottle on you can be easy fix to stop you getting dehydrated especially if you are travelling to a hotter environment. If you feel yourself getting dehydrated stick to water and stay off the coffee, tea and alcohol as these will dehydrate you. When training and competing make sure you are in a balanced fluid state. This can be easily assessed by urine colour. If your urine is dark you are dehydrated, consume fluids immediately. If urine colour is light then you are in fluid balance and do not need to immediate hydrate.
It is essential that strategies be put in place to minimise the impact of travel on your ability to performance. Whether it’s a car trip to another city or an overseas trip, the key to successful eating while on the go is planning and preparation. If you are planning a trip away and need help preparing and planning your nutrition don’t hesitate to contact me on nutrition@NZtrailrun.com