I was at the beach reasonably early on Saturday morning – my SUP boarding career is on track as I learn to tackle the smallest waves (ever!) in a bid to be a pseudo-SUP surfer. What I was amazed about was the number of people on the water but also the incredible number of those that were in their teens. There was a ‘pod’ of ocean swimmers, fellow SUP’ers, the surf school was in action, the surf club boarders were embarking on their training on land and in the water, and there were surf-ski paddlers doing their wave practice. The car park was abuzz with parents and teenagers.
It got me thinking about young athletes who embark on either trainings or sports on a Saturday morning and what their nutrition routines are like for a non-school day. Enthusiasm and motivation to get out on the water appeared high but I wonder if the fueling to get there was as well?
If it were a game of paper-scissors-rock I can imagine the scenario would be sleep-food-sport where sleep beats food, but sports beats sleep, and I really can’t see where food wins. Early starts do require early fuel. It’s wise to eat before you hit the water, especially if it’s the ocean because if the water and weather are warm it can be tempting to be out there for longer.
The best practice is always to eat before (fuel-in) and after (fuel-out) training, games, competitions etc. If you get to practice this really well, it becomes second nature and creates the habit.
Eat a good-sized breakfast. If it’s tricky to eat a decent amount before you leave home then grab something to eat in the car on the way, and make it carbohydrate based:
Banana + flavoured milk OR peanut butter on toast OR fruit toast with jam OR yoghurt + handful nuts OR yoghurt/muesli mix OR rice cake with peanut butter and sliced banana or honey (OR any combination of these is perfect)
It’s the recovery nutrition that you need to nail next. This requires practice and preparation.
Start with hydration and start with water.
Next the food. Again, look for those carb choices: breads, cereals and fruits work here but also add in the proteins e.g. eggs, legumes (baked beans), nuts and seeds. Fruit yogurts and flavoured milks have a good combination of both carbs and proteins.
Start practicing this in and around training sessions. Not only are energy demands for training met, but it means that foods for the rest of the day can be utilized better for growth, recovery and repair (and of course any other activity that comes along for the rest of the day).
Go well everyone! Enjoy this Vit D weather.