Initial thoughts on rowing nutrition

I went back to basics and did a good old Google search for ‘Rowing fitness’. One of the first things which came up was this word document from the Department of Sports Nutrition at the Australian Sports Institute. It’s quite an old document (from 2006) but the fundamentals of rowing do not change, at amateur level anyway, so it was quite a good find for one of the first things I looked at. Now I don’t normally rely solely on a single source of information before making changes, but what this article has helped with is give some focus to the areas I want to look at over the coming weeks, namely:

– Hydration before and after training, including what is best to be drinking since I am not sure I trust sports drinks;

– Eating for recovery – both immediately after a session to optimise muscle repair and energy replenishment, but also to ensure optimum fuel intake for the additional energy burnt by muscles (if required);

– Timing of food consumption to optimise energy levels for competition / scheduled tests.

A couple of interesting sections within this document were:

The immune system is suppressed by intensive training. This may place athletes at risk of succumbing to an infectious illness during this time. Consuming carbohydrate during and/or after a prolonged or high intensity work out has been shown to reduce the disturbance to immune system markers.

and also

Early intake of good quality protein foods helps to promote the increase in protein rebuilding. Protein consumed immediately after the session (or in the case of resistance training sessions, immediately before the session), is taken up more effectively by the muscle into rebuilding processes, than protein consumed in the hours afterwards.

which are both of particular interest to me with my recent questions over the value of carbs vs. protein. However, in “Are high protein low carbohydrate diets appropriate for Rowers?”, it explains:

“High protein, low carbohydrate diets are not suitable for athletes.”

There are numerous charts available in the above document alone to help model out an appropriate diet, but I have yet to go through them in detail. So, I am going to try and assess if my carb and protein intakes are the correct proportions.

A few other links I intend to look at further in the next few days are:

– A white paper from Nutrition Assessment Services;

– The Australian Institute of Sport website;

– A British Rowing feature which has some former Rowing & Regatta articles;

– A general Free Fitness Tips website, for more general things (perhaps recipes).

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Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (6 & 3). I'm a Gardener, houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Instagram for mainly plant spam. Hope you enjoy reading!

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