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Costa Rica Travel Food Guide for Athletes

This is a guide for athletes traveling to Costa Rica, about what to expect and how to be prepared.

For athletes traveling around the world, there are challenges not only finding food that you like, but finding healthy food that can meet your requirements as an athlete. For someone traveling to a new country and culture, this may seem overwhelming. Those who travel from anywhere other than other parts of South America may find it hard to find the foods they are familiar with from home. Sometimes it is just knowing where to look, and knowing some local language to find what you are looking for. This article is to help guide someone who is planning to travel to Costa Rica in their chosen sport, and are required to make some nutrition choices themselves.

Do some research before you go.

Food in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the food may be different from what you expect. Most food is spicy or served with some form of chili. The main nutrient sources are as follows:

Bread products are available in most towns, but are usually very sweet meaning there is a higher carbohydrate load than regular bread. Mussanni is a chain of bakery stores found all over Costa Rica. They sponsor one of the local triathletes! Also, packaged corn chips are a common snack food everywhere. For vegetarians, a chain vegetarian restaurant called Vishnu is found throughout Costa Rica.

Some Costa Rican food (called 'Comidas') and drinks:

Typical costa rican meal with beans and rice Typical meal with beans and rice

What if you don't like the local food?

local food cafe local food cafe

Self-catering Options

When traveling to another country, it is usually cheaper to self-cater. Self-catering is possible in Costa Rica, though most of the places you will stay will not have facilities to enable you to cook your own meals. There are many mini-marts and supermarkets which stock a large range of foods. As English is widely spoken, you may be able to read the labels, or at least there may be someone you can ask. For athletes with food allergies or intolerances you will need to be extra careful. Purchasing snacks to supplement your meals is easy, especially with the amount of fresh fruit available.

fresh fruit stall in Costa Rica fresh fruit stall in Costa Rica

Food Safety in Costa Rica

Things you may need to bring from home?

Gels, supplements, medications, gastrolyte or sports drink, favorite snack foods, quality protein snack options if avoiding the protein sources here.

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