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Nutrition for Kite Surfing & other high energy water sports.

As my husband is involved with the water sports/mountain sports business I thought I'd delve into the nutritional requirements for high energy water sports. Kite surfing has exploded worldwide, so if you want to get the most out of your session on the water it's important to fuel properly.

Kite surfing is a very exciting and demanding type of surface water sport. It combines various features of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing and gymnastics. Being a high adrenaline, aggressive and demanding sport which uses virtually every muscle in the body. To achieve this level of fitness fuelling your body correctly is essential. Proper nutrition will enhance your performance and also keep you physically fit as well as aid with recovery so you can be back on the water in no time.

As with most sports it's important to fuel your body beforehand- think Carbohydrates, our bodies prefered fuel source. This will give you a great energy supply to fuel your session

Aim for 1.1-1.5 grams of carbs per KG of bodyweight at least 60 minutes before heading on the water. If you have less time a fast realeasing glucose energy drink (isotonic is preferable) will suffice.

Avoid protein and fat as these will sit in your stomach and increased blood flow to this area may cause cramps, digestive upset and performance. Less blood flowing to the other areas of the body means inhibited function of these areas when in physical demand.

An electrolytes drink is also a great choice at breaks through and after your session on the water as you will get dehydrated. Even putting a few grains of salt in your water bottle can help.

Post session- this is where protein comes in. Aim for approx 40g of protein to assist with muscle protein synthesis and carbohydrates to refuel and restore glycogen levels. Carbohydrates also assist with the energy needed to complete muscle protein synthesis.

A small amount of fat can be consumed as well although not essential at this stage.

However we do need around 30% of our daily calories from fat.

Staying at a healthy lean weight will no doubt assist with performance and endurance so working out your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is a great tool to maintain your weight and insure you are refuelling your body correctly.

As mentioned earlier, protein assists greatly with muscle building and repair as well as every function in the body so aim for around 1.2-2.2g of protein per KG of lean bodymass.

Fat at aound 30% of your calories and the rest as carbohydrates.

Pre-shred meal suggestions before hitting the water (at least 1 hour before)

A bowl of oatmeal with banana and honey

Wholegrain toast with jam

Pancakes and strawberries with agave

Rice bowl with veggies

Rice cakes with banana and honey

Post shred meal suggestions

Aim for refuelling within 1-2 hours of exercise

Protein shake with banana and oats

Chicken with baked potato and veggies

Eggs on toast

Salmon fillet with new potatoes and veggies

Flapjack with a protein shake

Try to keep a good balance of healthier meals (those that fuel the body) as well as those seen as not so healthy with a ratio of 80/20 (80 being healthy). You'll reap the benefits on the water.

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