By Airwaves writer Rachel Bennung
Ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” This saying is more true then most people realize. Everyday people are forgetting how essential nutrition is in not only sports performance, but your everyday living. You can be strong and fit, but if your nutrition isn’t in line your hurting your performance more then you realize. To perform at your best you need to have a healthy diet along with a training plan. In this article I will touch on ways you can boost your performance by eating a clean healthy diet.
Nutrition is a tricky thing for people to understand. Today we see marketing for food and beverages everywhere we go. We also hear everyone telling us different things about what is good for us and what is bad. This can become very confusing for any person! So what is the right thing to do? The four following steps are my simple ways to start eating right and boost your performance, and the way you feel on a daily basis.
- Get Back To The Basics
My first step to everyone is get back to basics. Nowadays processed food is everywhere and it’s hard to escape it. However, what are bodies really need are whole foods. For example instead of eating potato chips cook up a real potato, or instead of drinking juice have the real fruit. When you get back to the basic food groups you will see changes in your body. You will have more energy to get out sailing and perform at your best. By eating whole foods you will provide your body with the nutrients it needs, where processed foods provide little value to your body. To last longer on the water we need to be providing our bodies with all the nutrients it needs. Start this transition by replacing some of your typical food choices with whole foods.
Hydration is a key element to performing at your greatest level. When you are dehydrated you lose focus and your body begins to shut down. When you are working out or sailing you need even more water before, during, and after to make sure you stay well hydrated. The standard amount of water you should be drinking is half of your body weight in ounces. So for someone who weighs 140 pounds they should be drinking on average 70 ounces a day. However, as I stated before if you are performing exercise like sailing you should be increasing your water consumption before, during, and after that activity. Something else to mention is about sports drinks. You should try and stay away from these since they contain so much sugar and can actually work against you. If you want to use a sports drink my suggestion is to water it down. Also a great product is Electro Mix, it can be added to your water. It gives your body the electrolytes you need without all the added sugar. To help you get all the hydration you need carry a refillable water bottle with you so you remember to drink throughout the day.
- Find What Works For You
Something we all need to remember is every body is different, what works for you may not work for another person. Finding what works for your body will make your feel great and enhance your performance. This is essential to your success for performing better both on and off the water. For example some sailors need to eat a full lunch on the water while sailing, however, then we have some sailors who rather eat something small like a granola bar to keep going. You need to find what works for your body. Different foods may also not agree with you, so you need to make a note and try to avoid them in the future. Your diet is a learning process, and you need to make it work for you. To better your performance on the water we want to find foods that make us feel great and give us energy throughout the day!
- Make It Fun
Your daily diet can sometimes feel very hard to deal with everyday. However, you can make it fun! Find ways to make what your eating not a chore, but a fun process. In the mornings you can start your day off with a smoothie adding all different fruits and vegetables. Instead of buying granola bars that are packed with so many calories and sugar, experiment with making your own (check out my easy recipe down below that you can make at home). Make water more fun and easier to drink by adding some lemons and mint. There are so many ways to make your diet fun and all the while helping yourself in your daily life and your performance. Check out below fun healthy snacks that are great for sailors.
-Homemade granola bars
-Homemade trail mix
-Peanut butter or almond butter with fruit or vegetables
Homemade Granola Bars
- 1 cup Pitted Dates
- 1/4 cup Honey or Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup Almonds
- 2 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 cup Buckwheat
- 1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil Melted
- 1/2 cup Rasins
- Microwave dates with a little bit of water in the bowl. Process dates in a food processor until forms a dough like consistency.
- Mix together oats, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, raisins, shredded coconut, and almonds.
- Add to mixture coconut oil, dates, and honey.
- Mix all together then spread in pan flattening out the mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees.
- Let cool then cut the bars.
- Store in freezer until ready to enjoy.
As sailors we spend a lot of time training on land and on the water. However, when it comes to our nutrition we are usually falling short. We need to eat to enhance our performance for both on and off the water. What we put into our bodies effects our everyday life and performance more then we think. Once you start eating right for your body you will see a major improvement in the way you feel, and in your performance. Going back to the basics, hydrating, finding what works for you, and making it fun will help you on your way to becoming a healthier stronger sailor.
For more information on fitness and nutrition for sailing contact email@example.com. Also check out Sailorcise on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily tips on fitness, nutrition, and sailing.