Diet- How Surfers Eat To Get Lean and Fit
Do surfers follow a certain diet?! You have probably been around surf spots and wondered what the surfers are are eating to stay lean and energized to surf all of the long hours in the ocean. Some people reach out to us and ask if there is a specific diet that surfers use to endure the long 4-6 hours sessions in the water, exposed to the sun, salt water, and no access to water of food.
We are here today to keep you up to the date with the secret on how surfers fuel for long sessions and still maintain that lean surfer physique.
You need to know that for surfers or not, having a solid nutritional foundation is the most important thing to have in order to stay lean and healthy. When eating mostly whole foods, you will give your body all the nutrients that your body needs, fuel your system and make your metabolic processes work to the ultimate best.
If you are eating a lot of whole foods and it is the main bulk of your diet, what you eat and drink before a surf session becomes a lot less important. Having that solid foundation, gives you a lot of room to wiggle. Almost all the time, all you would need is some quick digesting carbohydrates like a yogurt or banana to give you energy and stamina to surf a long session. Or some surfers surf on an empty stomach because they still have some stored-up energy from the meal the night before.
A Lean Body Is Important For Surfing
Maintaining a consistent weight is one of the most important aspect of surfing. Having some extra body fat makes every aspect of surfing much more difficult. Your pop-up will require more strength, you will have to squat and balance more and the most annoying part, you will need a new surfboard with new dimensions (that might sound like fun, but really isn’t, it is a hassle). You will need to paddle harder, and everything will just be harder when carrying more weight.
Relative strength importance
When surfing and surfing the best of our capabilities, it’s all about having a good relative strength. As you probably know, there are different types of strength.
Relative strength is about a power to weight ratio, which signifies to how strong you are in associations to your bodyweight. For you to calculate your relative strength; you take your absolute strength (how much you can lift for 1 rep max) and divide it by your weight.
So for example, let’s say we have a 150 lbs man who can squat 200 pounds has a relative strength higher than a 180 lbs man who can squat 200 lbs.
(200/150=1.3 times bodyweight) (200/180=1.2 times bodyweight)
That would mean that as surfers, we don’t want to carry too much body fat or too much muscle either. And that is why you don’t see bulky surfers often, or even never. It’s not a part of surfer’s fitness goals to gain muscle, or even training for hypertrophy; and that is how the buoyancy of the surfboard comes into play. Even the slightest pound of fat or muscle can alter the surfboard dimensions, that is why muscle hypertrophy is not a surfers goal. Surfers want to be strong, yes. But their strength priorities would be different as they would look for increase of relative strength and not muscles.
Increasing Relative Strength
To increase your relative strength is all about maintaining or even increasing a little bit of your strength without increasing your weight. You will do this mainly by being aware and mindful of what you do in the kitchen, but obviously strength training still matters for bodyweight strength. One of the best ways to increase relative strength is by doing HIIT, Tabata, or even high intensity circuit workouts with moderate to even heavier weights if you want. You could also do bodyweight workouts at a higher intensity. Add that with an amazing nutritional plan and you will build relative strength without any problems.
What do surfers eat to stay lean, fit, and energized all the time?
There are a lot of ways to pull off a surfer’s way of eating. It is all about a good nutritional foundation first as we talked about earlier. If you actually take the time to build that amazing strong nutritional foundation, you will have more flexibility as to what you actually eat before a session or after. You will also be able to know what a bad choice is and what is not when you have a strong base. And on top of it all, you will have a bunch of energy stored while staying lean, even when not having any food.
Surf Diet Foundation
The first step is making sure you tackle any nutritional shortages. This can be anything from minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, and even water. If your metabolism isn’t working right, you will feel like complete crap, which then means you will not be able to surf and stay lean all the time.
Even if you think you are already eating healthy, there is still a good chance that you have some kind of nutrient deficiency. Several studies show that nutrient deficiencies are prevalent to today’s modern diets. A great way to find out if you have any nutrient deficiency, you might want to get a blood test from your primary care physician.
To have that lean and strong body and still have high energy levels, you will have to have your own composition working for you and your body. If you can get that first step perfectly right, everything else will fall into place without a problem.
Surf Diet Rules To Follow:
- Eat a big salad every day, or have vegetables at every meal
- Eat enough protein. You should aim to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. As an example, let’s say we have a man who is 190 lbs. and has 12& body fat, his lean mass is about 169lbs (190-22.8). That would mean that this man would want to eat 168 pounds of protein per day.
- Staying Hydrated. Drink about 4 liters of water per day or one water bottle per hour.
- Supplement your diet with fish oil. Get about 1-3 grams of high-quality fish oil daily. Either by pills or powder.
- Try to limit refined carbohydrates. Only eat refined carbs such as breads, pasta, cookies, crackers, sweets, and more after a surf session or an intense workout.
Sample Meal by Meal Breakdown
This is what a typical meal breakdown looks like for a day of a 190 lbs. man who is also 6’3’’. You will obviously need to adjust these numbers based on your weight, and goals.
Breakfast: Black coffee, small bowl of Greek yogurt with berries, protein bar.
Calories: 550 Carbohydrates: 40 grams Protein: 40 grams Fat: 25 grams
Surf session for a couple hours. If you have waves, or a good surf training workout
Post-workout/ surf session shake: green shake with coconut water, 2 scoops of whey protein, green powder, 1 tbsp of nut butter, cacao nibs, and 1 banana.
Calories: 400 Carbohydrates: 35 grams Protein: 40 grams Fat: 10 grams
Lunch: Large salad. Poke or ahi tuna salad, with 2 fist sized portion of protein (eggs, beef, fish, or chicken) a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkled cheese.
Calories: 550 Carbohydrates: 25 grams Protein: 50 grams Fat: 20 grams
Snack: apple and almond butter
Calories: 250 Carbohydrates: 30 grams Protein: 5 grams Fat: 15 grams
Dinner: Homemade tacos are great, or sandwich with vegetables on the side. Follow this great recipe HERE!
Calories: 600 Carbohydrates: 40 grams Protein: 40 grams Fat: 20 grams
Dessert/ Evening Snack: Large square of dark chocolate with 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 15 grams Protein: 7 grams Fat: 12 grams
Total calories breakdown
This is an example for a 190 lbs. man to get plenty of nutrients to fuel his body, without adding extra calories that his body won’t ever use. If you want to lose fast, you would want to remove the snacks or nut butter in the protein shake, which will then lead to dropping the daily calories to 2000. A good and easy way to figure out how many calories you should eat for a lean body is to get your bodyweight in pounds and X 10.
There is no magic diet for surfers to stay lean and fit. It all comes down to focusing on getting a real solid foundation for a good nutritional plan. Protein intake should be high, carbohydrates should be mild, drinking a ton of water is amazing, and you can get good fats from avocados, nut butters, meats, and eggs.
If you want us to breakdown your calories and macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) so you can know exactly how much of each you can eat per day without it sabotaging your results and goals.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject: help me with calories.
We will get in touch with you and breakdown your calories for you!