At Bindi Nutrition, we’re athletes ourselves, and we understand the importance of sports nutrition when we’re hitting the gym, training, and preparing for a race or competition. At home and within our familiar environment, we have everything we need to stay on track. But when it comes to travelling, leaving our regular routines can throw us off a bit.
Sometimes work or competition takes us away from our comfortable, at-home environments. Or perhaps we want to enjoy a holiday, but we don’t want to worry about whether we’ll be able to maintain our diets and training. Whatever the reason, it can be challenging to stick to our routines when away from home. So, how do we retain progress while on the road?
Travelling doesn’t have to mean hindering our athletic progress or derailing our gains. Here are some of our best tools for staying on the right track with sports nutrition, even while on the road.
An essential piece of advice is to stay hydrated when travelling. Travel, especially air travel, actually takes a lot out of our bodies, which can set us back if we’re not careful. Dehydration can make us fatigued and weak, give us headaches, cause confusion and muscle cramping, and simply lower our overall athletic performances. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a trip will help.
Using electrolytes can make staying hydrated much easier. The most common electrolytes that athletes consume include magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium. They all have slightly different benefits, but in essence, they all supporting healthy muscle contraction, increasing our mental clarity and enhancing our energy. Electrolytes can ensure that you’re staying hydrated while also helping your athletic performance.
At Bindi Nutrition, we offer several options for electrolytes, including bulk powders and individual sachets. Our single serve sachets are perfect for travelling for a race and when on-the-go. Our small Bindilyte tubs are also handy as they’re low in sugar, so you can stay hydrated and support your body, all while avoiding unnecessary calories from sugar.
Travel Nutrition — What to Eat?
With sports nutrition, understanding what food to consume is crucial to staying fit and active. Food for athletes or highly active people it is slightly different than what the average person eats. Athletes need more calorie intake because we’re burning more energy throughout the day. We also need nutrient dense foods that can maintain our muscles, increase our endurance, and support our performance.
People often think of protein when they think about food for athletes. That’s because when we break down muscles while exercising, we need protein to support our bodies as we repair and rebuild them. Protein also enhances our carbohydrate storage, which can maintain energy levels without crashing. A great way to do this is to consume Bindi Nutrition’s Organic Protein powders. We offer sample packs that are smaller and fit perfectly in your suitcase.
Pre-packed travel foods are notoriously low on nutrients, so at airports look for the salad and veg options (yes they can be found!). Try a green smoothie or even better, pack your own supergreens powder from home which is the perfect antioxidant-nutrient boost. They will boost your immune system, help reduce inflammation, and promote healthy digestion. In turn, our bodies feel better and can perform better.
Pack them all. The whole lot. Nuts, fruit, low sugar protein bars and even a smoothie/protein shake mix if you are on a long-haul flight. Don’t be tempted by all the rubbish on offer.
Meals – what to choose
Tryptophan, a building block for melatonin increases our natural melatonin production. Tryptophan is found in protein-containing foods, so a well-rounded meal containing proteins, carbohydrates and fats should enhance your natural melatonin production and potentially minimise jet-lag. Our hot tip: avoid inflammatory and high carb/fat junk foods at airports and roadhouses. I love to chose the vegetarian meal on flights as you get served first, plus they are often rice based (great for carb loading!).
Reset your body clock naturally: The brain naturally releases the hormone melatonin at night to promote sleep, and so this process is disrupted with travel. Melatonin supplements can help to resynchronise our body clock and reduce jet-lag symptoms; effective dosing protocols sit between 2 and 8mg. However, you can do this naturally by eating pistachios – just 8 nuts will provide 1mg of melatonin.
Plan a meal ahead
Think about your first meal when landing or arriving: Its been hours… you’re exhausted… and you really don’t know where to start in a new city to get a wholesome meal. Either do your research before you get there or think about packing something simple like a sachet of porridge oats and a banana to get your started.
Pack your own race day or training nutrition:
This is super important – race with the nutrition that you have trained with. There is no need to rely on what is on offer at a race, so pack plenty for race day and also for your carb loading days. If you need help planning this out, have a read here for our carb loading tips to feel light and lean on race day.
Hydration is definitely the place to start when you’re on the move – but with a little planning you can stay healthy when travelling and really nail your nutrition as an athlete by planning meals, snacks and adding vital supplements to your travel routine.