Nutrition for Wakeboarding, Part 1
Author: Certified HyperStrike Trainers
Relatively new to the sporting world, wakeboarding is a board sport that combines water skiing, snowboarding, and surfing. Riders dazzle the judges and audience at 24 miles per hour with aerial tricks, agility, skill and mastery of the wake.
Riders need to keep their bodies and minds finely tuned to repeatedly pull off stunts. If your grabs are weak and you’re constantly butt-checking, maybe your attention should turn to what’s fueling your rides.
Nutrition and Wakeboarding
For a lot of 22-year-olds the five main food groups include hamburgers, fries, pizza, Red Bull and beer. It is sometimes difficult to impress upon people this age group (that of the average wake boarder) the need to watch what to eat.
A boarder must be rested, focused and ready to perform before starting each run. Virtually every muscle is involved and must be coordinated. In order to perform at the best possible level, you must hit the gym. In order to get the most out of the strength and conditioning routine, you have to eat right.
Because we understand the energy systems involved in wake boarding, we can develop food strategies to fortify a competitor and ensure optimal performance. Our recommendations are speculative, but the general guidelines are based on scientific evidence.
The guidelines are as follows:
- Eat nutrient dense foods. Keep junk food and processed food at a minimum. These contain calories that the body does not use optimally because of their low vitamin and mineral content. Fresh is best.
- Eat approximately every three to four hours to maintain insulin levels and aid in physical and neural recovery.
- Eat complex carbohydrates (starches) at a ratio of five to seven g/kg bodyweight (2.5-3.5 g/lb bodyweight) (1). For example, a 70 kg (154 lb) male needs 350 – 420 grams of carbohydrates per day. Starchy foods such as pasta, wheat bread, whole grain cereals, brown rice, potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, and vegetables provide a major energy source to fuel your activities. These foods are also a source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – the health protective substances in plant foods.
- Choose protein sources at a ratio of 1.2–1.6 g/kg bodyweight (0.54-0.86 g/lb bodyweight) from turkey, chicken, eggs, fish (although cold water fish have higher fat content, these are much needed healthy fats), lean cuts of beef, tofu, low fat cottage cheese (1).
- Choose healthy fat sources from nuts, avocadoes and cold-water fish. Eat 40-100g of fat per day. If you do not get enough of these, take an essential fatty acid supplement or fish oil supplement (1-2 tablespoons/day).
- Keep drinking water or sport drinks to maintain hydration while training. Try to avoid water-like substances such as Kool-Aid, sodas, juice or lemonade. Although these may contain water and some carbohydrates, they also contain a greater amount of the wrong type of carbohydrate source (sucrose and/or fructose), which can ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) distress (i.e. diarrhea) and decreased performance.
- Eat a diet that consists of a wide variety of foods by keeping in mind the basic food groups. It is the best insurance for getting needed nutrients.
- Consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day among the foods that you eat. High fiber foods include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Read labels and be aware of fiber content in everything you eat.
- Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and excessive table sugar, even when trying to gain weight. These include candy, juices, desserts, baked goods, etc.
- Use meal replacement shakes, fruit smoothies or bars whenever necessary. Always keep bars available such as in a book bag, purse, glove compartment, locker, or wherever poor nutrition might be the alternative such as at a competition. Try an assortment of brands to see which you like.
- Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement from a reputable brand.
- Before going to bed, eat a light snack such as peanut butter on whole-wheat bread and a glass of skim milk.
- Only certain supplements may be beneficial for a wake boarder.
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