Guide to Rowing Nutrition and Sports Supplements
Rowing is a sport that requires an intense combination of technique, power and endurance; employing both anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. As such, rowers need to pay particular attention to their nutrition and supplementation in order to meet the demands that the sport places on their bodies. Unless these nutritional considerations are taken seriously, rowers will never reach their true potential due to injury, poor recovery, and lack of energy and motivation.
Focusing on good rowing nutrition can be very beneficial to both your general health but can also have a significant impact on performance improvement. Rowers have very high energy and carbohydrate needs during their training sessions, while they seek to reach their optimum bodyweight and strength targets.
Unlike other athletes, it is often a challenge for rowers to eat enough calorie dense foods to meet their energy needs. Rowers burn thousands of calories during each training session and these need to be replaced to build strength, stamina and enhance recovery. One solution to this problem is to eat frequent snacks and supplement with good quality sports nutrition products.
Snacking and sports supplements for rowers
Rowers should aim to stock up on calorie dense foods or drinks such as fruit juice, shakes, milk, jam, honey, bananas, sandwiches and cereal bars. If you eat these foods between meals you will be able to maintain your energy intake at the correct levels.
You should also consider drinking meal replacement drinks as they can offer up to 1000 calories in one shake. They give you the protein and carbohydrates that your body demands during hard training sessions. They also offer other ingredients that aid with energy and recovery (such as glutamine, ZMA and gaba).
Best sources of food for rowers
Rowers should know a little about nutrition and the different food groups. Select the best of the foods from various groups such as dairy, proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables as they help the body to recover, repair and provide that much needed energy supply.
If you are looking to get all of the essential amino acids that your body requires, then you are going to need to eat protein everyday. You can get these essential amino acids from lean meats, eggs and fish.
Remember to eat a well balanced diet selecting different sorts of food to ensure you stay stay fit and healthy.
You should also consider taking sports supplements that include a whey protein powder in order to ensure your body gets enough protein each day. This is essential for rowers, as the physical demands of the sport are so great.
In order to get your metabolism operating at a high level, you should try to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Don’t try to eat all the food in your diet plan at once, and then go for hours without anything, as this can cause your body to think it is starving (famine response) and to actually store fat rather than burn it.
Recovery strategies for rowing
Many competitive rowers feel that they are constantly trying to recover from the previous training session, and that it’s a constant battle to get themselves in to good shape for the next grueling session.
To improve your chances of an effective recovery you need to replace the electrolytes that were lost from your body in the form of sweat during training.
You need to restore the muscles and liver with glycogen. You also need to manufacture new muscle protein, and red blood cells to repair cells and tissue. A good way to do this is to rehydrate yourself with an energy drink, full of electrolytes following each training session. This is a key principle to effective recovery and needs to be completed as soon as your training session is over.
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