BY NANCY CLARK
PHOTO BY PETER SPURRIER
If you’re a solo athlete, akin to a singles rower (or a runner), the advantages that come from fueling your physique correctly profit you personally. For those who hang around with rowing teams or groups, nevertheless, you would possibly take part in social meals which will focus much less on diet and extra on enjoyable meals. (Nachos and beer, anybody?) Coaches might discover it exhausting to enroll all their rowers in accountable fueling. But the workforce that fuels correctly can have an edge over the workforce that eats a sub-optimal sports activities food regimen, notably when touring to regattas.
Rowing groups and their coaches–in addition to particular person rowers–wish to acknowledge critically that good meals selections may also help them get to the following stage. Vitamin is invaluable for optimizing not simply efficiency throughout coaching and races but in addition well being all through a protracted season. When all rowers take note of what, how a lot, and once they devour meals and fluids, their possibilities for having fun with a successful season get stronger.
Making ready for Race Day
The day earlier than a race, rowers ought to:
• prepare solely calmly; this enables muscle mass time to refuel.
• hydrate effectively; the aim being copious light-colored urine.
• select carbohydrate-based meals and snacks.
For a 150-pound rower who has been coaching exhausting, the aim is about 1,800 to 2,100 energy from grains, fruits, veggies, sugars, and starchy meals to replenish the muscle and liver glycogen shops that bought depleted throughout coaching periods. That’s no paleo or keto food regimen!
Extra exactly, the goal is 3 to three.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of physique weight (6 to 8g/kg). For a 150-pound rower, this implies about 450 to 525 grams of carbs the day earlier than the race to refuel–plus two to a few extra days afterward. Divided into three meals plus two snacks, we’re speaking oatmeal + bagel for breakfast, sub sandwich + fruit for lunch, a pile of pasta with dinner, plus some pretzels and dried fruit for snacks.
Each meal–together with when coaching exhausting and pre-race–ought to be carb-based. Rowers who refill on extreme protein at meals, and select protein bars and shakes for snacks, generally eat solely half this advisable carb consumption. Whereas protein helps construct and restore muscle mass, it doesn’t gas muscle mass. Analysis with soccer gamers who begin a recreation with low muscle glycogen suggests they run much less distance and are slower than carb-loaded gamers. That is notably noticeable within the second half of the sport. Endurance rowers and people doing in depth coaching might additionally discover the identical drop in efficiency.
Race Day Fueling
A pre-race meal, eaten three to 4 hours earlier than begin time will optimize liver glycogen shops that may drop by 50 % in a single day. Anxious rowers who sleep poorly might burn much more. A pre-race meal helps gas high- depth sprints; it delays fatigue in order that rowers carry out higher. An ample pre-race meal is especially necessary for a lunchtime begin.
For a 150-pound rower, “ample” means 300 to 450 energy from grains, fruit, or one other supply of carbs that settles effectively and digests simply. This might be a bagel and a banana, oatmeal with raisins and maple syrup, or two packets of Nature Valley granola bars. Extra exactly, goal 0.5 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of physique weight (1-3 g/kg).
Rowers wish to tank up with water, a sports activities drink, espresso, or a well-known fluid within the two to 4 hours pre-game. This permits time to void the surplus fluid after which drink once more earlier than the beginning of the race.
Through the regatta
The general diet objectives throughout a regatta are to:
1) drink ample fluid to forestall dehydration (however not overhydrate), and
2) devour ample carbohydrates to forestall blood glucose from dropping. The mind makes use of carbs to suppose clearly and concentrate on the duty at hand.
After warm-up, endurance rowers would possibly wish to devour about 100 to 250 energy from carbohydrates (about 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrate). Sports activities drinks and gels could be helpful sources of carbohydrates at the moment. Most gels supply 25 grams of carb. Rowers who tolerate gels poorly can get the identical profit from pure meals (honey, maple syrup).
For rowers who can’t tolerate any meals or fluid of their anxious stomachs, swishing and spitting a sports activities drink doubtlessly can improve efficiency. No have to spit it out in the event you can tolerate it!
Rowers want much less time to get well absolutely in the event that they do job of fueling and hydrating earlier than the occasion. Preparation and speedy refueling are notably necessary in regatta conditions the place a rower could also be taking part in multiple occasion.
To replenish depleted glycogen shops quickly, rowers wish to devour a half gram of carbohydrate per pound of physique weight (1g/kg) per hour for the following three to 4 hours. This equates to 300 energy per hour for a depleted 150-pound rower and could be achieved with carb-based drinks and snacks on the workforce tent, adopted by a post-game meal close to the race web site, and snacks whereas touring. Refueling for the following day’s occasion must be deliberate forward.
Rowers with a poor post-race urge for food might initially want business sport meals, however pure meals supply extra electrolytes, together with carbs, protein, and fluid. That’s, chocolate milk is advantageous over a sports activities drink akin to Gatorade. Tart cherry juice would possibly assist scale back irritation.
The post-race aim is to keep up a carb-rich food regimen (3 to three.5 grams of carb/pound; 6-8g/kg) within the 24 hours post-event, and once more for the following two to a few days if the rower did repeated depleting efforts. This may occur simply in coaching, maybe extra so than in racing. Bear in mind: you’re both fueling up or refueling.
To restore muscle mass, rowers wish to goal 20 to 25 grams of high-quality protein at three- to four-hour intervals. Cottage cheese earlier than sleep would possibly improve in a single day muscle restore.
When grownup groups wish to have fun with alcohol after a race, take notice: Greater than two drinks (two beers, 10 ounces of wine, three ounces of alcohol) can impair glycogen alternative, muscle restore, and rehydration–to say nothing of injuring the following day’s efficiency. When restoration is a precedence, rowers ought to keep away from alcohol. Good factor the fun of victory comes with a pure excessive!
Sports activities nutritionist Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., counsels each informal and aggressive athletes within the Boston space (Newton; 617-795-1875). Her Sports activities Vitamin Guidebook may also help you eat correctly but merely and win with good diet. For extra info, go to www.NancyClarkRD.com.