We’re always in a rush to go surfing, but if you take a minute to eat properly beforehand you’ll optimize your time in the water. The chaos and anxiousness of dawn patrol often leaves us hungry and dehydrated in the lineup. Imagine missing a wave or getting out of the water because you’re hungry or feeling weak, especially if the waves are pumping. It’s a painful thought. Avoid it by following these tips and meal ideas to surf longer and harder. The first tip is to remind yourself that mom’s always right.
Remember when you were a grom and every adult always told you to eat no less than 30 minutes before going in the water? That old saying actually has some science behind it. Whenever your body needs to accomplish a task, whether that’s digesting food or contracting muscles it requires an increased blood flow. Every time you eat circulation increases to the stomach. If you’re simultaneously contracting muscles from paddling that compromises the blood flow to the digestive system. Insufficient blood flow can cause cramping and sluggish digestion leaving you bloated. That’s not a situation you want to deal with while paddling and duck diving. Depending on how long you plan to surf there are a couple great food options.
For a quick surf (less than 1.5 hours):
Nothing makes us happier than going into work all salty after surfing. In this scenario time is of the essence and you can get by on eating little to nothing. Eating less here will also get you in the water faster and ensure your body is able to quickly digest your morning snack.
You can skip food, but you can’t skip water. It’s paramount to drink water since our bodies are already dehydrated in the morning. Even dehydration levels of 2% will impact your athletic performance, induce headaches and artificially stimulate your hunger. Avoid these setbacks by drinking at least half a liter of water. Also make sure to eat a post-surf meal that is nutrient rich containing proteins, minimally processed carbohydrates and a dose of healthy fats. The meals below fit all those criteria.
For a solid session (1.5+ hours):
It’s firing and whether it’s the weekend or you called in sick, you’re going to surf from sunup to sundown. For this session water is even more important. Aim to drink at least a liter of water before paddling out.
Along with extra water serious fuel is needed. Complex carbohydrates that digest slowly and provide long lasting energy are ideal. Mix this with hunger fighting fats and proteins to take full advantage of a day of solid waves. While you don’t want to try and digest a thanksgiving dinner, you definitely want something more substantial than a cabinet snack. All the options below are excellent choices to keep your energy and endurance up for multiple hours. So get fueled up, out in the ocean and max out your surf session.
0.5 Cup fresh Spinach
1 Cup fresh honeydew melon
1 Cup Greek yogurt
½ Cup of milk or juice
1 TBPS sunflower seed oil
8oz Cold coffee
1 Cup Greek yogurt
½ Cup frozen mixed berries
1 pinch of cinnamon
Whole grain Pita
Deli meat or chick peas
2 slices of whole grain toast
2 eggs scrambled with veggies
3 slices of turkey bacon
From the Gas Station (In moments of desperation):
If you’re really in a rush you can hit the gas station for this assortment: