In our last blog, we discussed how adding specific exercise routines can greatly improve your surfing. You can read that one here.
Exercise is a very important key to health and fitness, and even more important for improving your surfing ability. Now let’s talk about the other equally important key: healthy eating.
Like any sport, surfing requires a certain level of energy. It’s obvious (at least it should be) to make good food choices that will turn into energy that you can use on the waves. It’s also important to pay attention to what you eat after your session as well. The right recovery meal can prepare your body for the next day’s surf session.
Surfing is a very unique sport, in that you can’t just paddle out whenever you want. You’ve got to wait for the right conditions. When those conditions arrive, time can be short, and if you’re not paying attention to your food intake, you might be tempted to paddle out on an empty stomach. No bueno.
If you’re going to be heading out to surf, it’s always important to think about food for fuel. Making the right food choice can mean the difference between an awesome session where you were in the right place at the right time catching and riding great waves, and a session where you always seemed to be behind the 8-ball, missing waves because you didn’t have the paddle power. A little bit of planning ahead should keep you in the former group.
The trick to eating for surf is to eat foods that are rich in energy and nutrients, but in small amounts. You don’t want to paddle out with a full stomach. For that to happen, you need to focus on carbohydrates.
Carbs are, of course, the foods that so many health experts and nutritionists tell you to stay away from. They help to regulate the levels of glucose in your bloodstream. If you eat to many carbs, that glucose can turn into sugar and increase your waistline.
Carbohydrates in proper amounts however, will not only not make you fat, but also help provide much needed energy during physical activity.
Healthy, pre-surf meals rich in carbs can include foods like whole grain cereal, oatmeal, a toasted muffin with jelly, pasta with low-fat tomato sauce, or a peanut butter sandwich.
You can increase your health benefits by adding foods like nuts, bananas, and coconut water. These are rich in proteins and vitamins and can help you to stay hydrated while you’re surfing.
When you come out of the water, you’ll most likely be tired and in need of food that will help you in your recovery process. In this case we still want to take in carbs, but we also want to focus more on proteins.
A post-surf meal might include a fruit smoothie (with low-fat milk, bananas, nuts and yogurt), a baked potato with grated cheese and a grilled chicken breast.
As a surfer, it’s important to pay attention to your food even on flat days. A burger and fries might taste great for lunch today, but you may end up paying for it tomorrow, when the current is strong and the waves are big. But that’s the beautiful thing about surfing. If you commit to it, it can foster healthy living.
Speaking of healthy living, our next blog will explore healthy food even further, as we discuss Trophology, or the art of combining foods for more energy, better digestion, weight loss and overall improved health.
Surfing, in the humble opinion of this writer, is one of the greatest activities ever invented. But it’s also quite demanding on the body. The best way to achieve your maximum potential is to treat your body like a well-oiled machine. Feed it the right fuel, and your performance can reach heights you never thought possible.
When you are surfing in Tamarindo, you can always take a break for a healthy meal at our Neptuno Deli. Try our delicious Salads, Cakes, Panini, Tartas, or our delicious Gallo Pinto (full costarican breakfast) with a fresh smoothie or coffee.