NUTRITION – WHAT’S BEST FOR WINDSURFING?
As you all know, windsurfing is the best sport in the world. We can’t wait for the next session and spend days looking at the forecast to know when we can be on the water again. Obviously we all want to get as much out of each session as we possible can. One of the most important things for a windsurfer (and any athlete) is nutrition in order to perform. Eat right and you will have tons of energy and will be able to perform on the water. Eat wrong and you will feel sluggish and not have any energy. Your body is an engine and it needs the right fuel to perform.
I’ve been wondering for a while now what nutrition is best. There is a lot of information that can be found explaining what is best, but I want to know what the people we see everyday on the beach, in videos and in magazines do. So what did I do? I went online and got in touch with some of the best windsurfers in the world to get their input. I asked each of them the following questions:
- What do you eat/drink before a session?
- What do you eat/drink between sessions?
- What do you eat/drink after a session?
- What food/drinks do you stay away from in order to stay fit and healthy?
All the guys were great and send me their honest responses. Here’s what they had to say (in no particular order and in their own words).
Name: Martin ten Hoeve
Description: Dutch wavesailor. Tallest competitor (by far) in the PWA World Tour.
Before a session: If possible a banana or bread with peanut butter, drink would be water or Healthy People fruit drink.
Between sessions: Banana, some chocolate and again bread with peanut butter, I drink water and the same fruit drink.
After a session: If that’s my diner then I would try to eat something with pasta and vegetables, and drink tea or water.
Avoid: Nothing special. I don’t eat any snacks that fast anyway.
Name: Jem Hall
Description: Super coach! The man who can make any windsurfer at any level perform better.
Pre session: Complex carbs with low GI preferably. Whole wheat toast or cereal, porridge oats .. and some protein for recovery and ensure I am hydrating as long before the session as possible. Lastly, some caffeine.
Between sessions: Fruit or dried fruit. No big meals! Oat cakes and fish for a medium snack, or peanut butter on whole wheat bread, great sports snack.
After a session: Rehydrate as much as possible straight after a session, mix of water, fruit juice and a tiny bit of salt, or poweradd / gatorade etc. Complex carbs like rice, whole wheat pasta, vegetables and protein for recovery. Raw nuts to get some protein in as a snack.
AVOID: We all treat ourselves but where at all possible I will avoid fried food and too much sweet or sugary products. When overseas it is too easy to reach for the white bread wiht dinner and this is empty calories, so I go easy on those and ensure I have plenty of water 30 – 45 mins pre dinner. I have to work hard keeping my weight down, being a bigger guy, and so I have to stay on all this so as to float my smaller boards and keep my wind range wide!
Thanks for asking, if you s**t in your fuel tank your vehicle will go nowhere. Their is no fire without good fuel!
Rip and Enjoy, Jem x
Name: Graham Ezzy
Description: Talented wave sailor and son of the great David Ezzy.
Pre session:Â I like to eat at least an hour before sailing. Closer to the actual sailing and I can feel the food in my stomach, which bothers me (this bothering is more mental than physical). The food needs to be pretty simple, nothing fried or rich. Quinoa with vegetables or oatmeal maybe. I like boiled eggs before sailing too.
Between sessions: I will drink water (sometime coconut water) and if I’m hungry I like to eat an apple. Or almonds, I love almonds. Generally I don’t like to eat very much if I know I’m going back on the water. For some reason, I feel more comfortable getting worked in big waves on an empty stomach.
After a session:Â I like to get enough protein and carbs so that my muscles can recharge. Directly after the session, I’ll make sure to hydrate with water and if my next meal is over an hour away, I’ll have a protein shake.
AVOID: I stay away from fried food and foods that are super carby. I find I feel better without them. Also, for over a year I’ve been a vegetarian/pescetarian (with a few exceptions), but this is for ethical rather than health reasons.
Name: Marcilio Browne
Description: Former freestyle world champion and a very talented wave sailor.
Pre session: Just some fruits and water, bananas, some times also some nuts. I pretty much only drink water before.
Between sessions: Same, just water, some times if I am long time on the water i add a feel aminos.
After a session: Than I do a full meal, fish, chicken or some red meat here and there, with some vegetables, rice, potatoes…
AVOID: I donâ€™t drink sodas, donâ€™t eat too much red meat (once or twice week) alcohol only on special celebrations, I drink once every 2 months, almost never and I try to eat mostly organic food.
Name: Francisco Goya
Description: Former wave world champion and driving force behind Goya Boards and Sails.
Pre session: Water, as much as I can.
Between sessions: Light & not much, the last thing you want is having to deal with food while you are getting tumbled and you are trying to hold your breath.
After a session: Water, left over of what I didn’t get in between session.
AVOID: Anything that comes in a can, bottle or that the shelf life or expiration dates are longer than a week, also meat, coffee and most breads. I choose GF (gluten free when option) , almond or coconut milk instead of cow milk, etc. Things that make you feel good not only when you eat them but also after.
Name: Victor Fernandez
Description: Former waveÂ world championÂ and still one of the strongest competitors in world cup.
Pre session:Â It depends at what time is the session but I try to eat well. Omelet, slice of bread, tea, orange juice.
Between sessions:Â I try to drink a lot of water between sessions and add some fruit.
After a session:Â A strong meal, I eat different food all the time, pasta, salmon, rice, chicken, a lot of salad, tuna.
AVOID:Â Fried stuff, Â I stay away fromÂ fast food. I try to eat as healthy as I can and I really feel it.
Name: Scott McKercher
Description: This Aussi has retired from competition many years ago but keeps influencing the windsurfing world with his design and development work for Starboard and Severne as well as his windsurfing action.
Pre session: Water,Â banana’s, coffee, nothing too heavy. Whatever really.
Between sessions:Â Water, coffee, chocolate, nut bars.
After a session:Â Beer, BBQ’s
AVOID:Â I try to stay off the alcho, pops, pies and sausage rolls. Moderation for a happy life.
Name: Josh Stone
Description: Former freestyle world champion and wave title contender. Still rips on Maui when he’s not supporting his kids.
Pre session:Â I usually hit the water just after breakfast, which is most usually yogurt, bananas, berries and a little honey. Gives me energy and is generally good for you.
Between sessions:Â Nothing in between sessionsâ€¦ I usually do one session per day.
After a session:Â I eat protein afterâ€¦ my body craves itâ€¦ usually some kind of meat with a little bit of carbs like rice. I like to feed my body what it wants.
AVOID:Â SODAâ€¦ BAD BAD BAD
So what do you do? Let us know in the comments section below.
Big thanks to all the guys for their contribution.