How can I change my diet to improve rowing performance

Chris George has written a great piece focusing on appropriate diets for athletes who are starting to get serious about rowing and want to improve

The Muppets
Cover of The Muppets

their performance by carrying less body weight in the boat.

It’s called Diets for Muppets – no insult to our puppet friends, but is aimed at club rowers and people looking to try lightweight for the first time.

I commend a careful read of his work.  He tried it himself while training for an Ironman – which he won and got invited to the Worlds!  So it works.

Route A (the normal Western diet)

Just keep on eating as you normally do with “healthy” orange juice or fruit for breakfast followed by cerial (any of them on the supermarket shelves with their concomitant sucrose contents) and maybe eggs, bacon and coffee with two spoons of sugar followed by lunch and dinner and lots of crisps or sweets/snacks/biscuits/doughnuts etc. in between meals because you suddenly feel dizzy and hungry (known as a hypoglycemic attack) and trust to luck. Handle this right in terms of timing of the eating and you can row and feel fine as you will always have muscle glycogen (the fuel in the muscles – your petrol tank) and as long as you are young and your insulin receptors (the sensors that check out your blood glucose levels and whack in insulin to cope with high glucose in the blood after stuffing yourself down with some coke (over 10% sucrose [sugar]) and horse-burger and chips followed by a sweet pudding then you will be fine….

BUT….,as you get older, your sensors will gradually get less and less sensitive and your blood glucose levels will become raised and then the excess glucose gets turned to fat, either in your blood (triglycerides) which, in turn, gets laid down on the sides of your arteries or in your fat deposits around your gut and subcutaneously, i.e. you get fatter. It creeps up on you slowly….and in 30 years time you may well end up a Type 2 diabetic 

Route B

(This is what I recommend for serious athletes intent on performing as well as those that are receptive to making a life-changing decision.)

It is quite simple. Cut out all high GI foods for 23 hours a day. Yes all….. read more

If you want to go lightweight – I also commend Get Fast Fast – an e book for someone who needs a vastly improved erg score in order to make the team.

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