When it comes to training, staying properly energized and hydrated are key. After all, most crew races are physically demanding. In order to keep up with your team, other boats, and the goals you’re pursuing, proper nutrition is equally important as physical fitness. In other words, maintaining peak physical shape correlates to consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods. In an ideal world, an athlete is in good health — both in athleticism and holistic wellbeing.
In the months leading up to your season, establishing a healthy diet is important for long-term gains. In other words, the habits you establish pre-season will carry over into the weeks and months of your training and racing seasons. Consuming unprocessed food is encouraged. Additionally, limiting sugar, especially refined sugar, is helpful in keeping your energy stable throughout the day. And of course, staying hydrated is essential. Aim to drink a glass or two of water prior to having breakfast, then at least six more 8-ounce glasses throughout the day.
From organic / grass-fed meat, to high quality produce, seasonal fruit, a variety of nuts and seeds, and whole grains, there is so much variety in a healthy, modern-day diet. When possible, try to build a balanced plate at every meal: a satiating breakfast is a few scrambled eggs with cheese, half an avocado, and a bowl of berries, an energizing lunch is a hearty sandwich on whole grain bread with deli meat and a side of veggies with hummus, and a blood-sugar balancing dinner is a 6-8oz portion of high-quality protein with a healthy starch and a salad. As with snacking, the same philosophy stands true — whole, unprocessed foods (i.e. a banana with peanut butter, trail mix, or oatmeal with berries).
Once the season is underway, it’s crucial to maintain your established habits. While there are more than likely, cooks at every school, they aim to fuel every student with a healthy and well balanced meal, but of course their cooking will not be the same as the meals you cook and prep at home. We encourage you to bring your own snack and a few options would be for protein bars, EPIC Provisions makes clean bars with minimal ingredients; GoMacro bars are also great. For meat sticks — a quick source of protein — check out Chomps. For efficient energy, pack pitted dates (just be sure to remove the pits before eating) and nuts of choice. Bananas, dried apples, and granola are also fast-digesting energy sources as well. Stasher bags are a sustainable way to pack your snacks.
At the end of a training session, especially a day that requires hours of work, be sure to stretch, elevate your legs, and refuel with protein and complex carbs. In order to replenish tired muscles, protein is key. Additionally, complex carbs will help you sleep soundly. Lastly, don’t forget to hydrate and with that, good luck and be sure to stay properly fueled this season!