Entries in Nutrition (12)

Saturday
Jul232011

A Lightweight Rower's Diet

By: Patrick Dale.
From: Live Strong: Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Overview: A lightweight Rower's Diet

Rowing is a relatively old sport whose governing body, the International Rowing Federation, was formed in 1892. Rowers compete individually or in crews of two, four or eight and are categorized by weight: Lightweight men must weigh less than 72.5 kg or 160 lbs. while lightweight women must weigh less than 59 kg or 130 lbs. Rowers weighing more than these figures are classed as heavyweights. Lightweight rowers must be careful not to gain too much weight otherwise they will find themselves ineligible for lightweight competition. For this reason, diet is especially important for lightweight rowers.

About Rowing

Rowing is a demanding whole-body sport that requires strength, power and fitness. The legs, back and arms are especially important in rowing. Rowing with one oar is called sweep rowing while using two oars is called sculling. Both types of rowing require very high levels of fitness. Training for rowing is vigorous and includes not just rowing but also weight training, circuit training and running or cycling. According to "The Sports Book" by Ray Stubbs, rowers consume an average of 6,000 calories per day to fuel their training, but this very much depends on the size of the rower and amount of training being performed. 

About Rowing

Rowing is a demanding whole-body sport that requires strength, power and fitness. The legs, back and arms are especially important in rowing. Rowing with one oar is called sweep rowing while using two oars is called sculling. Both types of rowing require very high levels of fitness. Training for rowing is vigorous and includes not just rowing but also weight training, circuit training and running or cycling. According to "The Sports Book" by Ray Stubbs, rowers consume an average of 6,000 calories per day to fuel their training, but this very much depends on the size of the rower and amount of training being performed.

Fueling Workouts

The primary fuel in rowing workouts is carbohydrate. Carbohydrate from foods such as bread, rice, pasta, fruit and vegetables is broken down and converted to glucose to provide energy for muscular contractions. Hard-training rowers should ensure they consume enough carbohydrates to fuel their rigorous workouts. Sports nutritionist and author Anita Bean recommends that hard-training rowers should consume 8 to 10 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Carbohydrates also provide plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber, so rowers should try to eat wholesome sources of carbohydrates while limiting the consumption of refined foods and sugars. 

Muscle Repair

Rowing and rowing training cause muscle damage at a cellular level. With adequate rest and good nutrition, muscles repair themselves and get stronger. The primary nutrient required for post exercise muscle repair is protein. Rowers should consume around 1.2 to 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of body weight to ensure they have adequate protein to repair their muscles after intense exercise. Good protein foods include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. Protein consumption should be spread evenly throughout the day to ensure muscles receive a regular supply of protein-derived amino acids.

Fats

Although fats are very calorie dense, they are also important for health. Fats are essential for the transportation and utilization of vitamins and minerals, are anti-inflammatory and a useful source of energy. Because fat provides a lot of calories, lightweight rowers should be careful not to consume too much fat in order to avoid gaining weight. Most experts agree that around 30 percent of calories should be derived from fat and split evenly among saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

Weight Management

Unlike heavyweight rowers who have no upper weight limit, lightweight rowers much avoid getting too heavy - especially as the competitive season approaches. To maintain your body weight, your calorie intake must equal your calorie expenditure. If you are over your correct rowing weight, you should endeavor to start your weight-loss diet in plenty of time before the season to avoid having to crash diet which may affect your rowing training due to reduced energy levels. By setting the goal of 1 lb. per week, you can estimate how long it will take you to get to your correct competitive weight. To lose 1 lb. a week, you need to reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories a day.

References

"The Sports Book"; Ray Stubbs; 2009

"The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition"; Anita Bean; 2009 

"Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook"; Nancy Clark; 2008

Saturday
Jul232011

Fuelling Rowers

By: Jennifer Doane.
From: American Dietetic Association. Copyright ©2006: This handout may be duplicated.
PDF Link: Fuelling Rowers

Fuelling Your Sport

• The number of calories needed by rowers depends on the intensity of training. Recreational rowers need fewer calories than competitive rowers.

• When training is very intense and lasts a long time, rowers can need 20.5 to 21.5 calories per pound of body weight per day (45 to 47 calories/kg/day). Male heavyweight rowers may need more than 6,000 calories per day, and female heavyweight rowers need at least 3,000 calories each day.

• When rowers improve their stroke, they don’t use as much energy. Therefore, they may need to eat fewer calories than they did when they were beginners.

• Carbohydrate is the most important fuel for rowers, but some rowers don’t get enough. You need 2.3 to 3.2 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day (5 to 7 g/kg/day) during training and competition. During training, you should aim for the higher end of the range (3.2 grams/pound/day). Good sources of carbohydrate include whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

• Rowers need 0.55 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day (1.2 to 1.7 g/kg/day). You need the most protein during the early phases of training. Good sources of protein include fish, chicken, turkey, beef, low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, nuts, and soy.

• Eat about 0.45 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day (1 g/kg/day). Choose heart-healthy fats, such as canola oil, olive oil, and nuts.

Fluid Needs

• When you compete in a weight class, you may think about using dehydration practices to make weight at the last minute. However, practices such as working out in a rubber suit in a sauna, limiting fluids, vomiting, and taking diuretics are very dangerous. They can lead to serious health problems or diminish your performance.

• Try to make weight well before the start of the competitive season. To get to a competitive weight, focus on eating less, not fluid restriction.

• Two hours before every workout and competition, drink 2 cups of fluids.

• Drink about 3 cups of fluid for each pound lost during training or competition.

• One way to know if you are drinking enough is to monitor your urine colour. Urine will have a pale, straw colour when you are hydrated.

• Use sport drinks to get fluids, carbohydrates, and electrolytes that your body loses when you’re active.

Supplements Commonly Used by Rowers

• Creatine may increase performance in 1,000-meter rowing events.

• Creatine supplementation may also help you recover more quickly from weight training sessions, which could help you train harder.

• Creatine monohydrate powder is a common type of creatine supplement. The recommended dose is 3 to 5 grams per day. Taking larger amounts does not give you added benefits.

Creatine is not recommended for athletes younger than 18 years because it is not known whether creatine is safe for this age group.

• Energy bars are a convenient way to get more calories and nutrients. Choose an energy bar that contains more carbohydrate than protein or fat. Many energy bars do not taste very good, so find a bar you like to eat. Bars are more expensive than other food, and they don’t contain any magical ingredients to improve performance.

 

Top Three Nutrition Tips to Improve Performance

1. Manage your weight in the off-season instead of cutting weight in-season. A sports dietician can create an eating plan that allows you to make your desired weight well before the season starts. Some athletes have unrealistic goals for body composition. A sports dietician can help you determine whether your goals are realistic.

2. Develop a hydration plan along with your training plan. Dehydration hurts performance and increases the risk for heat illness. Choose sport drinks when rowing on hot, humid days. Drink 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before exercise and drink plenty of fluids after your workout.

3. If you want to gain weight, plan ahead.

Heavyweight rowers often want to gain weight in a short time period, but healthy weight gain, like weight loss, will not happen in a day or two. If you want to gain weight, increase your calories by 500 to 700 per day. If you use high-calorie and high-protein liquid meals, use them between meals or before bed for best results.

 

Nutrition Prescription:

______ calories per day

______ grams of carbohydrate per day

______ grams of protein per day

______ grams of fat per day

______ cups of fluid per day

Special concerns:

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