It’s well known in this age of Science and Sport being inextricable, that as far as you’re an athlete the cliché’s true – you are what you eat.
Eat good food, you’re a good athlete. Well, a better athlete…
Everything counts from what’s on your plate (or in your shake), to the timing it hits your body, during and after your workout. But there’s a lot of misleading information surrounding nutrition, in one of the most lucrative and unethical industries in the world. However we don’t all need a full time personal nutritionist and chef like sporting superstars. Wavelength is here to help and we’ve gone and got the help of an expert for you.
Renowned surf coach Chris Mills is here to lend an opinion and a simple secret everyone can start, to improve your diet and effect your life beyond surfing.
So whether you’re a surf punk in ripped leather sleeping next to empty beer bottles, or a semi pro, if you haven’t already you may wana put the MacDonald’s down and replace it with a delicious fruit smoothie! Because like it or not, even If your just a weekend warrior, you’re a part time athlete, and only as good as the food you eat, which may be the last thing holding you back from improvement.
So timing. The dramatically simplified science of sports nutrition goes: you want to have MAXIMUM energy when you exercise, then MAXIMUM repair power after your session.
Although the general rule is to always have a pretty balanced diet (of Fats, Carbs and Proteins) you want to CARB LOAD before you work out.
Have a high Carb meal about 1.5 hours before your session, then maybe some very fast digesting carbs and energy like oats and a banana about half an hour before.
Think of Carbs as fuel, your body runs off them. What this means is that they’ll be hitting your system in bulk during your workout, when you’re using them in excess.
But now your all worked out, tired and your muscles are sore, you need to replenish. As always have a balanced meal. But this time with an EMPHASIS ON PROTEIN.
Protein repairs damaged muscle tissue, which you do during a workout, this helps it grow. Thus having a lot of the right protein after a workout means you repair quickly and more efficiently, and come back stronger and more ready the next day.
We’ll that’s the basics from me, but Chris Mills Is a guy who knows a little more than me about this stuff.
He offers a full holistic approach to surf coaching available in ebooks and even coaches via skype to those of you who cannot make it out to California to train with him (maybe some day!).
His training guide has an entire booklet on nutrition but there is one key rule he abides by, which simplifies the preaching of every diet Guru you’ve ever heard.
There’s a myriad of products available in health food stores, all claiming to be “exactly what you need”, and the new breakthrough nutritional technology. But where does real nutrition come from? REAL FOOD!
If you look at the ingredients in these products, half of them are full of false stuff, and preservatives, all the best ones have REAL FOOD ingredients.
So you get the idea, you don’t have to be perfect, but eating at the right time, and cutting out processed food will feed your body with nutrition, energy, flexibility and the ability to repair itself that you dont currently have if you’ve got a poor diet.
It may sound too simple and easy, but eating real food is the key to attaining real nutrition and real results. McDonalds burgers were recently found to have meat and other false products that didn’t pass the food standards test for dog food, so its no good for you – don’t go back! Especially when you surf or exercise. Best nip to Auntie Doris’s Deli instead, or just make one at home.
Good luck in the water!
For info on Chris Mills surf coaching go to his website surfstrengthcoach.com , his blog features several in depth articles on nutrition by himself.
Photos: Jason Feast