Guest Blog by Tony Dodds, NZ Olympic Triathlete

Guest Blog by Tony Dodds, NZ Olympic Triathlete

Even though I was sponsored by another supplement company for sports drinks while I was training, I always asked for a box of Chia Sisters.

Reason was, the other sports drinks that we took while training are sugary filled fluids that are only useful if you are training A LOT and lose a lot of sweat. It’s not ideal for your teeth nor out of training consumption. So, I wanted something that I could take that would make me feel better, and give me the added nutrients without needing to take pills.  

Putting the right nutrition into my body was vital when I was training 35 hours a week because the foods we eat impact our training. I have done a week of eating crap food while training and I can tell you now the rollercoaster ride of energy and feeling fatigue is not worth it! It is very tempting to drink a can of Coca Cola, or other sugary drinks after a session, but I found these delicious Chia drinks are definitely a worthy replacement and so much healthier too.

I have been lucky enough to know Chia Sisters Co Founder Florence from her Triathlon days back in Dunedin. I have been following her and Chloe’s journey from the start. Finding a healthy drink (the healthiest drink you could buy) on the shelves was damn near impossible.

I love seeing Chia drinks in stores, especially those little stores in suburbs where kids go down to after school. They have $5 to spend on something and most often it is spent on lollies, chips, sodas or chocolate. Until now there hasn’t really been any tasty, nutritious drinks or food! I love seeing the Chia drinks giving that option to young kids.

Chia Sisters are fully invested in sustainability, climate action, clean energy, and zero carbon. I know how much hard work has been put into this, and Chia Sisters have stayed their course. That is what stands out for a lot of people in today’s generation.
My tips for staying healthy over winter 
It’s always hard to stay fit and healthy over winter. The days are short, it’s cold, miserable, and some of you might be trying to train. My advice is to keep a balance between training, life, family and friends. You can't train as much as you do in the summer. As I tell the athletes I coach: If you feel a cold coming on or you’re starting to get run down, take the day off to recover straight away! It is better to take one day off before it comes on, than to take two weeks off with a full-on cold because you didn’t listen to your body. 
Pre-race nutrition 
Once you start racing, you have to figure out what is going to work for you as a pre-race meal - both nutritionally and what your stomach can handle. For me, that has been the same for 13 years!
Pre-race nutrition starts the day before race day. It looks something like this: the night before I have pasta or pizza and salad. I wake up and eat 2.5- 3 hours before my event (which usually takes just under 2 hours to complete). It will be porridge/ rolled oats topped off with chia seeds along with a banana and a coffee. At this point, I am usually pretty nervous and really don’t feel like eating, but I force myself to get it down, as I know the second half of my race will depend on it. It’s Low GI and I know it works for me. Between then and race start I will put down 500ml of sports drink and maybe another banana if I’m feeling hungry. 
Every country I go to I always take oats with me for race day, because everywhere is different. Japan will offer rice and fish for breakfast, the USA usually offers waffles and eggs/bacon, China had noodles and Poland has bread and cheese.
My favourite recipes with chia seeds 

Chia Pudding 

This one I have usually for dessert, which is yummy and healthy. 

½ cup chia seeds 
1 ½ cups of coconut milk or cream 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 Tbsp Maple syrup  
Leave it overnight, then put fruit on top just before eating. Delicious! 


Chia Breakfast

Peanut butter, banana and chia seeds on toast. Very healthy and a great way to start the day especially on fresh baked brown bread. 

 Be safe, keep healthy and make time for yourself every now and then! 
Evolve Triathlon Coach 

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