I remember hangry. That feeling you get after a long ride, when you forgot to take enough food and you are desperately trying to cram food into your mouth. Or when you’re told to be at lunch at 12pm, but your meal doesn’t come for another two hours. It’s the feeling you get when you need to eat so bad, that you are angry as well as being hungry. When I was eating a more carbohydrate-based diet I would be constantly eating through the day and if I lost track of time or was taken away from eating during my usual routine, I would get hangry. I learnt to plan things as best as I could to limit the effects.
During the weekend I realized that since I removed sugar and processed carbohydrates from my diet, I don’t get hangry anymore. I raced a small sprint triathlon with my local tri club. I always help set up, but running late as usual, I missed breakfast and headed to the race after only having a coffee, but happy knowing that after the race and packing up, we’d be going for breakfast. I completely forgot that being Australia Day, our usually pack up would be delayed by a further three hours due to the running of the Kids Triathlon. It was a long morning, I helped set up, I raced, helped pack up, marshaled in the Kids Triathlon and then packed up again. It was not until 1pm that I got my Spanish omelette, almost 7 hours after I had my morning coffee, and almost 17 hours since my last meal. I wasn’t hangry at all.
I keep talking as if this change to my eating is strange or abnormal, but I’ve started to see that carb loading and sucking on gels and electrolyte drinks as abnormal and not necessarily the way that humans were meant to be eating. I am not advocating training or racing in a fasted state, I think each individual should be able to question and find an eating plan that is right for them, but removing sugar and processed carbohydrates, seems to be leading me to even more benefits that I knew were possible.
Tri Swim Coach Ambassador
Vince works as an IT Engineer in Melbourne, Australia where he lives with his cat Tim Tam. He has been a runner for longer than he can remember. He competes in distance running races, open water swims and long course triathlons.