As you’re no doubt aware if you’re a regular paddle boarder, SUP is more demanding than many give it credit for. Sure, it’s relaxing as well, but at the end of the day it’s a physical exercise that demands a great deal of strength, balance, and focus. Because of this, we should treat it like other sports, which means (among other things) taking careful consideration of what we eat before setting out on the water. You can have perfectly good SUP sessions without worrying about nutrition – but if you’re looking for peak performance you might want to consider some of these foods and ingredients.
1 – Start The Day With Protein
Most of us think of the impact of protein in somewhat vague terms related to power. We know, for instance, that it helps us to build up (and maintain) muscle mass, and we think of it as giving us strength throughout any given day as well. However, protein is good for more than just muscle maintenance. It helps keep you mentally alert too, which is good for any athletic activity. Thus, if you have a long day of paddle boarding ahead of you, it’s a good idea to start things off with a meal that involves enough protein to keep you feeling sharp and energetic for at least several hours.
2 – Hydrate Regularly
It’s actually shockingly easy to forget to hydrate when you’re out on the water for a day. Naturally you shouldn’t drink any of the water you’re actually paddling on, be it in the ocean or otherwise – but you should still make an effort to stay hydrated. It keeps you fresh in every sense of the word, and it’s generally not enough to simply gulp down some water before you head out. Make sure you have bottles of water or Gatorade with your stuff on the shore so that you can take breaks and stay hydrated as the hours pass.
3 – Try Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a trendy health product, and we’re actually taking the idea from another article in which it was recommended for an entirely differnet purpose (keeping gamers focused and strategic). It was written there that enhanced focus and mental performance come from a fatty acid called MCT, which is found in coconut oil (and which the brain burns with ease). Thus, even a small amount of coconut oil mixed into morning coffee or tea, or even mixed into eggs, can set you up for a sharper day. Focus is very important out on the water, and this is a simple way to help you keep yours up.
4 – Have Snacks On Hand
Just as you should keep sources for hydration on hand, you should also keep some snacks nearby! You can find a lot of information on recommended workout snacks, and you should use it to make sure that you have a little bit of food nearby that will keep you alert and energetic. Even a handful of nuts and raisins when you come into shore for a bottle of water can keep you in better shape for the next few hours.
5 – Restore With Chocolate Milk
Remember that when you’re done for the day, you may have exercised more than you’ll feel like you did. Particularly if you do a nice job of staying hydrated and eating healthy snacks you won’t necessarily feel that tired. Plus any muscle soreness can take a few days, or even until the next morning to really make itself known. Thus, some post-SUP maintenance is required as well. Generally a strong, healthy meal and plenty of water will do well – but if you’ve heard of athletes restoring themselves with chocolate milk, it wasn’t a myth. With an ideal mix of protein and carbohydrates, chocolate milk helps to stop muscle breakdown and restore your energy.