Food and Surf

Food and Surf

When we think of surfing we must understand that nutritional needs are increased due to the energy expenditure to go through the endless bursts, to get that perfect tube and still to maintain the body temperature in the water.

It is very important to consume the foods according to the needs of each athlete: according to their age, weight, height, type of training, temperature ...

Did you know that when in excess, in addition to possible injuries, exercise can weaken our body? Yes, it can cause inflammation, chronic fatigue and premature aging. Food is responsible for supplying nutrients essential for improving surfers' performance. In this way, a balanced diet allows a longer time at sea, reduces fatigue, accelerates muscle recovery, decreases the chances of injury, as well as helping to maintain optimal weight and delay of aging.

Most surfers have a habit of waking up and falling into the water even before sunrise, but in the rush, they end up having breakfast aside. It is important to remember that all physical activity should not be performed fasting, because without food in the body, we will consume our own muscle mass to generate energy and unbalance our immune system: catabolism process.

Another problem often seen among these sea lovers is the lack of hydration. The ideal would be to take a break every hour of surfing, because even when there is no thirst, dehydration can be signaled by muscle fatigue (cramp), sluggishness in the body and headache. Intake of sodium (salt of seawater) will increase the need for water to eliminate this excess in the urine. It is worth mentioning that all physical activity practitioners in the summer should be attentive to the sun exposure, as it accelerates the loss of body water. Drinking plenty of mineral water, natural juices and coconut water, help balance body fluids and maintain hydration.

Therefore, the feeding of these athletes should be every 3 or 4 hours, through snacks and main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner; containing leafy vegetables, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, whole grains, lean meats, eggs and dairy products.

Carbohydrates: cereals, pasta and whole-grain breads, plus tubers (potatoes, yams, yams, and macaxes) are the major source of energy for our body. When consumed in insufficient amounts, they cause symptoms such as tiredness, mood swings, cramps and malaise. About 60% of the total daily calories should come from carbohydrates and soon after the activity, it is recommended to consume carbohydrate to recover muscle glycogen and prepare them for the next activities.

The proteins of animal origin are of high nutritional quality, because they are better taken advantage of by our organism. They contain amino acids, iron, vitamins and minerals that our body needs for muscle recovery.

Plant proteins (peas, beans, chickpeas, pods, peanuts, nuts and seeds) also provide these nutrients and the varied consumption helps in providing different amino acids in the diet.

"Mono and polyunsaturated" vegetable fats contribute to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular diseases, thus improving the quality of life of physical activity practitioners. They are present in fish, vegetable oils (olive oil, sunflower, corn, soy), seeds (chia, flaxseed, sesame, sunflower), nuts and fruits like avocado, acai. Vitamin E (avocado, dark green leaves, eggs, vegetable oils, beans and seeds), Vitamin C (pineapple, acerola, cajá, orange, lemon, passion fruit, mango and strawberry), Selenium (seafood, whole grains, garlic, mushroom and chestnut from Pará), Zinc (oysters, lean meats and yogurts), Flavonoids (açaí, cacao, green tea, red fruits, grape), among others are great sources of antioxidants, fighting free radicals and their harmful effects on the body.
So, what should we eat before and after surfing?

It is important to drink water at will (about 250ml every hour) throughout the day.

Before going to the beach, remember to drink water, or natural juice or coconut water. Before training the meal should be light, consisting primarily of foods that contain carbohydrates and low fiber, fat and protein content. Consumption of this meal will allow complete gastric emptying to minimize the possibility of exercise-induced gastrointestinal discomfort.

If the surfer stays in the water for more than 2 hours, it is recommended to use coconut water, sports drinks or even the use of gel carbohydrates, which are easy to digest and can be carried in the pocket of the shorts.

After surfing nutritional intake should be focused on rehydration and muscle recovery. It is recommended that the surfer initiate the replacement of carbohydrates and liquid as soon as possible after leaving the water. The next meal should be complete and balanced.



PRE-TRAINING (+/- 1 hour before) & POST-TRAINING (within 30 minutes)

  • Bread (French, shape, milk, etc.)
  • Fruit jellies
  • cereal bar
  • Rice / Potatoes;
  • Wafers (without filling);
  • Simple cake / Bread / Tapioca;
  • Corn Cereal;
  • Fruits (banana, cashew, strawberry, pear);
  • Fruit juices;
  • Sour pasta
  • Carbohydrate gels.

POST-TRAINING (after 2 hours - complete and balanced meal)

  • Milk vitamin with fruits and oats;
    Yogurt smoothie with fruit and seeds;
    Acai with fruits and granola;
    Brown bread snack, salad and lean cheese (white or ricotta);
    Rice, beans, fish and salad;
    Pasta with bolognese sauce and green juice.

By Andreia Cristina. Master in Food and Nutrition - CRN 3/19360. Text originally published in Bora Magazine - issue 15 - Jan / Feb 2016


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