The best food and drinks for surfers
There are a few important and interesting things you should know about surf food. Experts believe you should adapt a meal or snack to the level of physical effort you are about to undertake.
So, if that last meal you ate was three hours ago, it's better to boost your body with something that will support paddling, standing up and carving. Avoid hot or too-cold liquids and snacks. Never drink alcohol before a sports activity. Bananas and water are excellent to fight cramps.
Surfers don't usually eat or drink while riding waves. It's not like in athletics where you can carry a candy bar in your pocket. There are special underwater bags for food and liquids, but most would agree it isn't easy to carry them.
If you're planning to surf for three consecutive hours, try stopping after each hour for a light refueling meal. Remember, except in extreme cases, you can practically never drink enough water - especially when you are highly active for sustained periods of time (and often in hot, salty, windy, or dehydrating conditions).
Carbohydrates - that is, glycogen - are very important for your muscles and liver. They help to maintain normal blood glucose levels, enhancing both physical and mental performance.
Sports dietitians say surfers should recover their bodies after surfing by choosing food rich in carbohydrates, protein and salt. If you've just been surfing for three hours you might have used 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour between the needs of your brain and body, so it's time to refuel your engine.
"Surf Food - The Ultimate Surfers Cookbook" is a collection of recipes from the world's best surfers, featuring mouthwatering dishes to keep you both entertained and well-fed.
Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) has developed a few guidelines for your sports nutrition plan. Here are a few tips for surfers:
What to eat and drink before surfing
- Breakfast cereal, reduced fat milk and fruit
- Porridge, reduced fat milk, fruit juice
- Toasted muffins or crumpets, honey/jam/syrup
- Toast with honey/jam/marmalade/vegemite
- Baked beans on toast
- Low fat creamed rice, tinned fruit
- Pasta topped with low fat tomato based sauce
- Jacket potato, creamed corn
- Low fat cereal bar/muesli bar/sports bar, banana
- Roll or sandwich with banana and honey
- Fresh fruit salad, low fat yoghurt or low fat dairy dessert
- Smoothie with reduced fat milk, low fat yoghurt, any fruit
- Soy smoothies with soy drink, blended fruit
What to eat and drink during a three-hour surfing session
- 1/2 liter of sports drink
- 300 ml of cola drink
- 1 sports bar
- 1.5 cereal bars
- 1 sports gel
- 1.5 small or 1 large banana
- 45 g jelly babies or jelly beans
- 0.5 round jam sandwiches (thick sliced bread) and 1 tablespoon jam
- Liquid meal supplement (2.5 scoops in water)
What to eat and drink after surfing
- Sports drinks
- Fruit juice and water
- Banana sandwich fresh fruit, canned fruit
- Sweet muffins Breakfast bar, muesli bar
- Sports bar
2. Carbohydrate + protein focused
- Fruit smoothie (low-fat milk, banana, yoghurt)
- Liquid meal supplement
- Breakfast cereal, milk and fruit Sandwich or roll including meat/cheese/chicken in filling
- Baked potato, baked beans, grated cheese