Kiteboarding is a demanding sport and what you eat will determent how you perform as a kitesurfer. Nutrition is the fuel that keeps the engine burning, and if you don't eat right, your performance will be weaker.
This is not an article about healthy food. If you're looking to loose some weight, you should seek help by a fitness professional. He'll tell you to eat more vegetables and stop eating junk food and hopefully how. This article is about fast recovery after a session and how to get the energy for the next session. And actually also a little bit about preventing injury and diseases, but focus is on getting you to perform.
Get energy for the next session or during a session
Carbohydrates is fuel for the muscles, and if you're on the water for more than 2 hours, you'll need to fuel up to be able to keep performing your best. A simple sandwich is very good. It will give you the carbs you need to fuel your muscles. And if it contains meat, you also have some protein for the muscles to start recovering. If you don't have time to eat during your session, or if you get stomach aches by eating and doing physical activities at the same time, you can also drink something that contains carbs and protein. Yogurt drinks, chocolate milk or protein shakes. These all contains carbs and protein. Juice and sodas contain only carbs, but that's also better than nothing.Your muscles has a natural amount of carbohydrates stored (glycogen), but not enough to kitesurf for more than 2-3 hours. So after 2-3 hours (more or less depending on your intensity) you need to re-fuel by eating or drinking some kind of carbs. Remember, it has to be easy to digest to avoid a stomach ache.
You should take in 1,0-1,2 grams carbohydrates per kilogram body weight in small doses within the first 4 hours after your session. In general you should consume 7-12 grams of carbs per kilogram body weight per day. Expect about 24-48 hours for a total re-fuel. After exhaustion from extreme sessions or workouts (more than 4-6 hours) it can take more than 48 hours to fill up your glycogen storage. If you eat like describes above, you can re-fuel in 24 hours.
It's a good idea to consume protein as well, because you need them to recover after your session or your workout. But for re-fueling carbs are the important nutrient.
Recovery from a session (or a workout)
To get the fastest recovery after a session, you'll need to eat the right nutrients at the right time. Protein will help your muscles to recovery and carbohydrates will help your fuel deposit to get loaded again. Both protein and carbs are really important for a quick recovery.
You cab actually increase your recovery by 12%, if you consume protein and carbs within the first 30-60 minutes after a session (workout). The faster you do it, the better results you'll get.
This is the hard part of working with nutrition. It's important for a kitesurfer to be light. So your energy intake should not exceed your daily energy use. But if you do not eat enough, you wont recovery as fast as possible and that would hold back your performance in the end. If you eat to much, you'll gain weight. So for eating a 100% right, you need a very detailed diet plan, which is very hard to follow and takes quit a long time to make. But most riders use about 300-800kcal pr. hour on the water. This depends on the intensity of your riding, your style of riding (waves and unhooked use more energy), and of course of gender and size.
So this is you golden rule; eat as much as you can, without gaining too much weight. If you are kitesurfing a lot, you should be building up some muscles, so don't get scared if you put on a little weight. But you shouldn't gain body fat! And you shouldn't gain more than maybe 0,10-0,25kg or 0,5-1,0 pound per month. These numbers a for a male with a body weight of 75kg or 160 pounds. If you have any questions feel free to write me. Look under contact in the menu, if you want to ask me about this. Or use the forum, click here.
Well balanced diet for kiteboarders.
If you're kiteboarding a couple of times per week, you can benefit from a good and balanced diet. Make sure you prioritize good carbs and protein. Eat a lot of pasta, rice and bred, together with low fat meat (chicken etc), fruit and vegetables and use olive oil or other kind of vegetable oils as a source of fat.
Here is and example of a diet:
Breakfast: Yogurt, bread (with ham) and a banana
Lunch: Sandwich with chicken and salad and olive oil dressing
Dinner: Pasta with salad, meat and olive oil
In between meals*: Fruit, juice, chocolate milk, yogurt drinks, protein shake, energy drinks.
*just one of things in between breakfast and lunch and 2 things in between lunch and dinner. 1 of the things after dinner
Getting sick is a huge problem for all athletes. A week without kiteboarding or without a workout will decrease you performance. An it sucks! You can enhance your chances of staying healthy, if you get the right kind of fat (vegetable oils, like olive oil - they are good for the immune system) and eat fruits and vegetables (for vitamins and fibers).
If your traveling a lot, you can experience problems with your stomach. Your pharmacy should have some pills containing bacterias, that will help you to avoid getting problems with diarrhea.
And it's not that hard. Fruit is a great energy source and they are easy to digest.You should eat 5-6 fruits/vegetables a day (including your salads etc). So they're great to eat during a session. Get your oils through your meals. Use it as dressing on your pasta etc. And remember not to over do it.
Preventing "tired" bones
If you workout continuously for a longer period of time (2-3-4 months) without proper rest, your bones will get weaker or "tired". You need calcium to keep them strong and you need need time to recover. Read "plan you training", click here. You should prioritize calcium rich food in your diet to make your bones as strong as possible. Here are some examples of calcium rich foods:
www.KiteboardingExercises.com - Power 2 Progress
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www.KiteboardingExercises.com - Power 2 Progress