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submitted by Andi Brunner

In this Blog I am showing you 5 easy nutrition tips that might help you getting a stronger kayaker. They only take very little preparation and effort but can have great benefits to your fitness!

1) Regular protein intake

Other than fat and carbohydrates, our body isn’t capable of storing protein, which means it is super important to spread the protein intake over the day. Protein is key for our immunic system, enzymes, bones, muscles, etc. So try to have some kinds of protein in every meal. This could be legumes, nuts, cheese, fish, meat and so on. If you eat too much protein, it is only going to be excreted. At some point though, it can be bad for your guts. A safe limit is 1g protein per pound bodyweight per day. So for a person at 170 pounds the daily goal shouldn’t exceed 170 grams protein.

all the food i need

2) No protein while paddling

While exercising, your body uses all the food for energy. If you eat proteins, your body would convert them into energy. Using protein for energy is way less effective than using carbohydrates.

3) Carbs on the water

This can be a game changer! For longer days, you should try to eat some carbs on the river. Can be a muesli bar, banana, honey, whatsoever. Especially in whitewater you can have huge benefits from that. With all those short sprints and boof strokes in the rapids, some extra carbohydrates keep your glycogen savings high and you can keep boofing down the river the whole day;)

4) After kayaking, first carbs, then protein

Another important thing is that after kayaking, you want to eat a small amount of carbs, ideally with a high glycemic index. This makes your body produce insulin very quickly which is important to start all sorts of important processes like the protein synthesis. So the first snack after kayaking should be a banana or similar and afterwards try to eat some proteins.

5 Nutrition Tips to improve your kayak performance

5) Salt in your water

This one is only for very long days, 3 hours and longer. Plain water is hypotonic, which means drinking a lot of it raises the blood volume causing a lower sodium concentration. The right sodium concentration is pretty important for your body to work at it’s best. Adding a little bit of salt (1 gram per liter) is all it takes to keep that concentration right.

To summarize:

Have 3-5 meals with protein a day. When you go kayaking, bring a muesli bar with you. Eat a banana or any fruit straight after kayaking and a meal with protein after that. And put a tiny bit of salt in your water for long days on the river.

I would be stoked if you’d give it a shot and let me know if you notice any improvements. Hopefully this helps and in case you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!