Energy supply and hydration have an immediate effect on triathlon performance. Having a clear fuelling plan before taking on any olympic distance triathlon event is important to help get the most out of your performance on the day. Here is what we would recommend.

The Basics

As little as a 2% loss in body weight through dehydration can decrease performance by up to 20%, and once carbohydrate energy is used up performance decreases even more significantly.

The basic advice of supplementing 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour still remains true and as a rule of thumb is what you should be aiming to achieve in terms of carbohydrate intake.  Carbohydrate should be taken alongside enough fluid as necessary to ensure you remain hydrated throughout the duration of the event.

We recommended you sip on energy drink or hydro tabs at regular intervals rather than taking on large mouthfuls less frequently. As with any endurance event it is important to ensure you are carbohydrate loaded and suitably hydrated in the days leading up to the event.

Remember: Always practice in training what you intend to do on race day and be careful not to over eat or drink during the bike section.

Blackcurrant Hydro Tab


Hydro Tab
View & Buy
from £7.50 10% off Boxes



Ensure you consume your pre-race meal 2 to 3 hours before the event and aim to consume 150g to 200g of carbohydrate in this meal.  Continue to sip your OTE Hydro Tab with balanced electrolytes throughout your warm up and race preparation.

Remember: The higher the intensity the quicker you’ll use up your energy stores, hence why continuing to put carbohydrates back in is important during the race.

Take an OTE Energy Gel 5 to 10 minutes before the start of the race.


Obviously taking on board anything during the swim is not an option.

During the bike section carry at least one 750ml drinks bottle of OTE Energy Drink and aim to drink it all, sipping little and often throughout the bike. Remember your fuelling and hydrating for the end. If it’s particularly hot it may be worth taking 2 x 500ml bottles of OTE Energy Drink on the bike. Remember dehydration can hamper you performance.  Take an OTE Caffeine or Energy Gel during the last 5Km of the bike to set you up for a fast transition and start to the run section.

Have an OTE Caffeine or Energy Gel next to your running shoes in transition and take it with you to consume at half distance during the run section.  Always ensure you remain hydrated throughout the event and take additional fluid on board during the run if necessary.


To kick start the process we would always advice consuming an OTE Recovery Drink as soon as possible after. This supplies you with much needed protein, carbohydrates and fluid; all essential if you want to recover quickly after the event.

When the dust has settled after the race, it’s always good to have a think back over how your fuelling strategy went.

Did you remember to consume everything you intended?

Did you lack energy?

Is there anything you could have done better?

Try and take all the learnings into your next event. Rarely will you get it right first time, so it’s always a good idea to refine your fuelling strategy and keep tailoring it until you find exactly what works best for you.

How to Fuel an Ironman
Read Article
Alistair Brownlee Talks 70.3 Triathlon Nutrition
Read Article

Bottle Offer

Subscribe to claim a free taster pack with your first order over £30*

Join the OTE community to try a selection of our award winning sport nutrition products and healthy snacking products. Simply complete the form below then head to your email to find your exclusive product link.

*Or get your hands on the Taster Pack for just £10 + free delivery. Only available to new customers. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. Terms & Conditions Apply.

OTE Sports Partnerships

See how OTE is fuelling some of the world’s best athletes.

Find Out More

OTE Guides and Insight

Find out how to fuel your next ride and see our delicious recipes.

Find Out More

Trade Accounts can now register for our B2B site.

Find Out More

Help us raise money for The Brownlee Foundation

Find Out More