Picture the scene. You wake up early for a dawny, the surf’s firing and you’re desperate to get in there. But you’re hungry and haven’t got time to mess about with breakfast…so you grab a bag of crisps on your way out and stuff them in your mouth as you’re driving to the beach.
Sound familiar? Whilst you may think sacrificing the most important meal of the day is worth it for some quality waves, you’re setting yourself up for a bad surf. Missed waves due to lack of energy, early fatigue and a potentially epic session cut short cos you’re flagging – all because you didn’t fuel your body right to begin with.
We’re not suggesting you live purely on a diet of kale and lentils, but we want you to get the most of out your surfing. So if you want to eat like a surfer and maintain good form, look no further than our guide to maintaining a healthy surfer’s diet;
Timing is everything
Don’t surf within 2 hours of eating a full meal. You’ll feel sluggish and your stomach won’t thank you for it!
If you’re planning an early surf it may be impractical to have a full breakfast. Whilst you shouldn’t go without food at all, you’ll need a power snack to kick start your metabolism. Try a piece of wholemeal toast with peanut butter and sliced banana.
If it’s a spur of the moment decision to surf, make sure you have a handy stash of pre surf power foods in your glove box. We love low sugar, high carb protein bars, snack boxes and single portion trail seed mixes. Bananas are also a great option!
Avoid skipping meals
Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast! It’s vital to jump start your day…and that epic surf session!
Aim for a balanced breakfast. Think complex carbs like porridge oats with skimmed milk and fruit, boiled eggs with wholemeal toast, or Greek yoghurt and granola (make sure both are the low sugar variety).
There’s also tons of healthy breakfast smoothie recipes out there to fuel your morning regime!
Eat fewer, smaller meals
Eating smaller meals during the day (with snacks built in) can help you avoid overeating and lessen the risk of sugar crashes. It keeps the metabolism firing efficiently and means you’ll be in the right zone if the swell picks up!
Have a small snack around 30-45 minutes before getting in the surf. This should be a ‘power snack’, predominantly complex carb based to provide a sustained energy source.
This will help you paddle outback through overhead waves time and time again without those noodle arms setting in.
Eat the right foods
Avoid gassy food. The last thing you want is to feel bloated and uncomfortable when you’re sitting out back, so aim for gut friendly foods in the lead up to your surf.
Everyone’s triggers are different, but beans and broccoli are often some of the main culprits!
A small amount of simple carbs (sugar) can provide a useful energy boost just before you get in, but don’t be tempted to tip an entire family bag of skittles down your neck. Moderation is key, so an 8oz sports drink or a couple of squares of chocolate will be plenty.
Hydration is as important as food. You should drink plenty of water during the day anyway but it’s essential when it comes to any kind of exercise, especially when you’re surfing.
Chugging down 2 litres of water 5 minutes before you get in is not the same as being hydrated, and your wetsuit may be a little on the uncomfortable side if you do!
Don’t forget to hydrate when you’re out of the surf. You may not realise it, but you can often sweat buckets while surfing. It’s always handy to carry some hydration tablets in your glove box which you can drop into a bottle of water to help stabilise your electrolytes and stop you passing out on the way home!