Pro triathlete Heather Jackson on how she stays fueled

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sports & Active Nutrition Summit USA Herbalife Sports nutrition Unmetered

Before taking the main stage for the female athlete and consumer panel at the Sports and Active Nutrition Summit in San Diego, professional triathlete Heather Jackson joined NutraIngredients-USA’s Danielle Masterson to talk about her nutrition evolution and how she stays hydrated and energized for long races.

Jackson said although she played sports her whole life, it wasn’t until after college when she got involved in triathlons that she discovered how crucial nutrition was. 

“I kind of went for more team sports all through my childhood like soccer and ice hockey primarily and it's crazy what I've learned now being in the sport of triathlon as an individual athlete,  every day trying to maximize what I can do as an athlete versus back then, as a team athlete or even through high school sports college sports and not really having that knowledge that I do now of what your body needs, what specific things you should be taking to compliment your sports or athletics versus just like, ‘oh, you need to carbo-load.’”

These days, Jackson said her nutrition and supplement intake is as much a part of her routine as the actual training. 

“I wake up, I need to make sure I'm getting electrolytes in and so I'm taking a lot of these Herbalife24 electrolyte products throughout the entire day. When I do my training session, I'm taking in the calories I need during it, but then getting in those protein shakes after to get the nutrients in that I've lost to help the muscle rebuild.” 

Jackson added that it’s not as much about eating as it is fueling for the next session.

 “It’s a different way of thinking, especially on the bug days,” she said. “For me. I think the biggest thing is electrolytes, just because I'm sweating so much. When your body runs out of the three key ones, sodium, magnesium, potassium, it goes to your bones to leach those out. And that's where your bones can start to break down. And so if you're constantly dehydrated, constantly lacking the electrolytes, that can cause stress fractures or injuries or problems. And so for me it's staying very hydrated, staying up on the electrolytes, and also iron is another big one as a female,​” said Jackson.

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