Surfer Diet- What To Eat To Be Healthy
From working, to doing chores, performing daily activities such as walking, carrying, sitting, etc… We all need energy! We all know that, but how many actually know what to eat in order to help your body recover and perform better and better every time it does something?
We know as humans that we need to eat or we won’t survive. But what do we need to eat specifically? Well it all depends on what your goals are but in general it is very simple. Eating real foods is the most important one. Then comes the protein, fats, and carbs intake that we need to watch for. Then comes the before session meals and after session meals which are super important when exhausted and need to refuel. We will cover it all in a second!
Surfers are known to be healthy. Not because of their nice tan, but because most take good care of their bodies, from watching what they are eating to knowing how to exercise. Eating a good balanced surfer diet plays an important role in surfing and any sport really. Eating well and being aware of what you are putting in your body everyday helps you feel and look good as well. If you want to surf every single day long awesome sessions, then you are going to need your body to recover every day.
This post is definitely not about counting calories, or macros, or anything like that. This is simply about being knowledgeable and knowing what a surfer diet is all about, and also to show you why and when you need to fuel yourself with high quality nutrients. If you want your body to perform at its best, you need to be putting in the right foods in your body during your meals. So, whenever you are getting yourself ready for the week or the next big trip, or the busy week, follow the meal planning tips below for a surfer diet success.
Eating Real Food
More than ever, I today’s world surfers are starting to implement some surf training into their daily routines! That automatically means that their surfer diet needs to increase and power them throughout the entire day; whether it is surfing or working out.
There is real food and there is what we call crap… We all know that! The crappy food is definitely NOT what you want to put inside your body, even though you already knew that; I wanted to remind you of it! It is all about finding balance, just like surfing. Cutting something completely out of your diet eventually won’t work and overindulging it won’t work either.
Remember this; the fresher the better. If it is fresh out of the garden or farmers market, caught fresh, or you got it from a local dairy shop or butcher, then it is real food. Now I understand that’s not possible for some people, so you remember this: if it did not exist when your grandparents and grand grandparents were alive, then it is not real. Also you can look for an organic local store that sell fresh items too.
Here are some superfoods you should start implementing into your surfer diet:
Superfoods are to be thought of as natural, delicious medicine. Plus, its super easy to add them into your daily diet an reap all the healthy benefits!
Coconut Oil: We have already talked about the benefits of coconut oil before. It is high in natural saturated fats and healthy fatty acids. It also improves your energy and endurance. You can use it to cook with it, and even add it to your smoothie.
Maca: This is a powder known to boost energy, endurance, and libido. You can add a scoop to your smoothies, juices, and oatmeal, or even sprinkle it to your favorite dishes as it has a sweet, nutty flavor.
Hemp seeds: A very great source of protein and amino acids that the human body needs to recover from an intense training. These seeds can be added to salads, soups, or anything really very easily.
Tumeric: This contains curcumin which is a very powerful antioxidant and inti inflammatory. You can add it to your smoothies, juices, or even sprinkle it in your foods when cooking it. We like to do healthy shots in the morning full of it.
Acai berries: Considered the healthiest berries in the world, they are great to add to your surfer diet. Contain weight loss and anti-aging properties as well. You can make your own açai bowl or juice as the already made ones have added sugars.
Quiona seeds: So good! They are full of 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce by itself. Also packed with protein (8g per cup) which gives you that extra protein intake.
Chia seeds: Loooovee them! These seeds are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber. These are great to be added to your smoothie, oatmeal, or even salads.
Nutritional yeast: Don’t get confuse with brewer yeast or active dry yeast. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast with no leavening power. A great source of protein and fiber; also, a great source of vitamin B12, for those vegan friendly sources. It is just like parmesan in terms of texture and taste, you can sprinkle it over pasta.
Peanut Butter: As you all know peanut butter is full of protein and carbs, but it also contains L-arginine which is an amino acid that helps keep your blood vessels healthy and improves muscle performance.
Avocado: Full of healthy fats. Avocadoes keep you feeling full and helps you absorb other nutrients too.
Cocoa powder: This powder has flavonoids in it which helps the human body with lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. You can easily add it to your smoothies and oatmeal without guilt because it only has 15 calories per tablespoon. To make sure you get all antioxidants are there, get the raw or non-alkalized cocoa powder.
Potatoes: The good ole potato needs to be added to our surfer diet, as it contains more potassium than a banana!
Sweet potatoes: OMG! Delicious! Did you know that a half or large baked sweet potato contains more than 450% of your daily dose of vitamin A? Yes you read that right, they are SO good for you.
Proteins, Fats, & Carbs for a surfer diet
Before surfing, or an intense workout, your main source of energy should consist of carbs. In a healthy surfer diet, carbs should me 50-60% of your daily caloric intake. Some carbs that you can include are:
- Whole grain bread
Proteins help develop, maintain, and repair all of your muscles. 12-20% of your diet should be proteins. Especially after a workout or surf session. Here are some proteins you can start eating:
- Lean meat
- Protein powder: this is a great easy way to digest protein that should be taken right after a workout and great to add to your surfer diet
It’s not because we are trying to have the best beach body, that we should cut out all the fats. 15-30% of your surfer diet should be healthy fats. Less than 15% will give you a negative impact on your performance. Some great healthy fats you can eat are below:
When you eat is as important as what you eat
If you do not eat before exercising, your blood sugars will drop and you will feel tired and lightheaded and will not be able to keep going. If you eat too much, you have to make sure you digest before your surf session. So, what should you eat and when you should eat to perform at your best?!
Make sure that you are eating a meal 1-3 hours before your workout or surf session. Surfing or working out on a full stomach is not a good idea, since you will not digest properly and end up feeling sluggish and bloated.
Proteins and carbs together is all that you really need before surfing or working out. Should be low in fat and fiver, as they take longer to digest and can lead to gastrointestinal distress. If you plan on doing a dawn session or workout, you should eat a light breakfast that has a quick energy release such as:
- Toast with peanut butter and jam
- Low-ft yogurt with banana
If you are surfing or working out later in the day, a high carb breakfast is best
- Porridge with low-fat milk/juice
- Fruit smoothie with low-fat milk/ soy moil/ almond milk
- Homemade granola with low-fat Greek yogurt and banana
- Fresh fruit salad with low-fat yogurt
- Bowl of oatmeal, cup of low-fat yogurt, and glass of fresh orange juice
- Peanut butter, banana, honey sandwich
Here is an awesome smoothie recipe for a quick energy boost:
- One banana
- One tablespoon of peanut butter
- One cup of low-fat milk/soy milk/ almond milk
- One teaspoon of honey
- Two teaspoons of dark cocoa powder
- One handful of your favorite seeds: sunflower, chia, hemp
- Optional: one scoop of vanilla protein powder
- Blend until smooth and serve fresh
During your surf training workout
If you exercise hard, and push yourself to the limit; lactic acid ends up building up in your muscles which then causes pain and fatigue. A good and super simple energy booster you can start taking while working out and adding to your surfer diet is; baking soda!
Create your own energy drink recipe:
- 4 cups of water
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 Tablespoons of raw honey
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
During a hard surf training workout, you should drink plenty for water sips by sips so that you don’t drown yourself in it. Sports drinks can be a good idea as well as they keep you hydrated like water but also provides you with essential nutrients.
Post surf/ workout meal
Surfing can make you super hungry and dehydrated. But it doesn’t mean that you should go to the next-door donut shop even if you are burning all of those calories. What you put in your body after a surf session or workout can help you or hinder your recovery.
No matter what time it is after your surf session or your surf training workout, you need to always make time for a post workout snack. Having a healthy snack consisting of carbs and protein within 30 minutes after your surf session or workout session could really help you recover your muscles faster for your next time. These snacks restore your energy levels and trigger the repair process in the muscles and that is a great reason to add it to your surfer diet.
Refuel on a good protein shake, or complex carbs like potatoes (not fried), rice whole-wheat pasta, or even whole wheat bread. These should always be the basis of your post surf/workout meal.
Post surf/workout snack ideas
- Low-fat chocolate milk
- Turkey sandwich on whole wheat break
- Fruit juice
- Protein shake
- Sports bar
- Fruit smoothie
- Whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese
Your lunch should mainly be carbs. Except if you plan on surfing soon, your lunch should be quite light such as:
- Cup of pasta with ½ cup cooked veggies, shrimp/tuna/chickpeas, topped with Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast
If you are done for the day, or going to work out or surf later in the day, here are some lunch ideas:
- Grilled chicken sandwich on whole-wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes. If you want you could add a side salad, fresh pineapple and a small glass of low-fat milk.
- Tuna salad with brown rice. (you will feel fuller longer with brown rice because there is more fiber than in white rice). Tuna is a great way to get some protein into your body. As for the vegetables in your salad, you should add as many as possible. The more colors the better.
Even if you are going to do a dawn patrol session the next day, does not mean that you have to skip dinner. On the opposite, you want to wake up full and energized, ready to surf. So, you need to restock at night.
A high protein and carb dinner in that situation is a good idea, here are a couple ideas:
- Whole wheat tortilla with black beans, rice, low-fast cheese all stuffed in the tortilla. A glass of orange juice or water is good on the side.
- Broiled salmon with roasted red potatoes and steamed broccoli is a really good dinner as well. With a glass of milk or water on the side.
You are what you eat! Yeah that might sound dumb and everybody says it in a good and bad way, but it could not be truer.
Eating the right way and incorporating all the good nutrients into your surfer diet will help you perform better than yesterday. If you don’t want to wake up feeling down, tired, and not full of energy, then you’d better restock on all the good essential nutrients we talked about to recover your body the right way! Also, a big one, is to make sure you get a good sleep every night and follow a sleep schedule. That might sound you are a child, but it could not be more helpful to go to sleep on schedule for your body to recover the right way. When sleeping, your body works on converting all that amazing healthy foods that you added into your surfer diet into energy and uses it to repair your muscles and tissues.
Hope that this article helped you understand a little bit more about good natural nutrients that you should be eating to perform at your best.