When everyone has put so much time and energy into the rowing season, it is important that each rower gets the whole package right for the racing season and for their overall health.  Appropriate hydration, food and rest will affect your ability to perform and this is crucial to getting the results you want.  The Wellington College Rowing Club food subcommittee have put a lot of thought and effort into making sure the rowers nutrition is as well balanced as possible taking into account the numbers and the cost.  The rowers need to make sure that their supplementary foods are complementary to this.

Always start training and competition hydrated.  Dehydration affects performance.  It causes muscle fatigue and brain fatigue.  Increase fluids with more intense sessions and in warmer weather.  

Check out the Urine Colour Chart to see if you're dehydrated.  

Water should make up the majority of your total fluid intake throughout the day and around training sessions.

Juice and Cordial Concentrate
50% juice and 50% water or 25% cordial with 75% water can be suitable drinks for training and competition to provide energy but are less suitable for hot conditions as they don’t provide electrolytes to help boost hydration.

Raro contains sugar (carbohydrate) and salt. Less salt than a sports drink but an economical alternative.

Sports Drinks
Provide electrolytes (salt) to replace those lost in sweat.

This is the main source of energy for muscles, body and brain.
This needs to be stored in muscle before racing & trainingand replenished after racing & training
Examples:  Bread Cereal /Oats Pasta Rice Potatoes Kumara Fruit Milk Yoghurt Lollies Sports Drinks

This is needed for muscle growth and is vital for muscle repair.
This is really important very soon after racing to enable the muscles to recover asap
Examples:  Meat Poultry Fish Eggs Legumes Milk Cheese Yoghurt

This is needed to protect and insulate the body and to store vitamins and minerals.
We need some, but not too much.
Examples: Avocado Nuts Oils Seeds

The type of carb you eat determines the speed at which energy is released into the bloodstream.  For example oats are slow release and lollies are quick release.  When you have a 2km race you need food that gives you energy to last the distance. Lollies may give you energy for the start of the race but you need to have longer acting carbs on board to cover the distance. Glucose lollies like jet planes are only useful when you have a very quick turnaround between races and need to top up the energy stores in your bloodstream rapidly. Then your body relies on the release of the slower release carbs (eg the oats and yogurt you had for breakfast) for the second part of the race.  

At the end of the race you need food that feeds and repairs the muscles.

Race Day Nutrition 
When rower’s race in three or four events on one day, there is little time for rest and recovery between races. Work out a plan that works for you: 

Night Before - Consume more carbs than normal 

Breakfast - Preferably 2-3 hours before race, protein and carbs
examples:muesli + yoghurt, porridge + milk/yogurt, bread + peanut butter, bread + cottage cheese, ham sandwich

Top-up - 1  hour before race (if required) Carbs – foods that are rapidly digested
 examples: banana, white bread with honey/jam, creamed rice

Less than 30 mins between races - Carbs (foods that are rapidly digested from the gut) simple carbs, examples: 3 glucose lollies eg jet planes, 1 low fibre sports bar eg Atkins bar, 1 banana, 3-4 dried dates, ½ bottle of sports drink, raro or juice

30-60 mins between races - include more ‘real foods’ that are still easily digested
examples:2 slices white bread, english muffins or pikelets with banana, maple syrup, honey or jam, handful of dried fruit, creamed rice and banana, low fibre, moderate protein cereal bar eg tasti protein bar

1-2 hours between races - enough to recover and refuel without leaving you feeling uncomfortable. Small meal high in good quality carbs, moderate in protein and low in fat, examples: wholegrain bread or roll with salad and chicken/beef/lamb/ham/egg, up and go or equivalent, pasta, rice or noodle dish with a low fat, moderate protein sauce, sushi or rice balls with soy sauce, breakfast cereal plus banana and milk.

More than 2 hours between races - as above, a small meal.

Post-race recovery - feed your muscles within 30 mins of a race for optimal recovery, ideally in a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of carbs/protein, up and go or equivalent UHT product, peanut butter sandwich or a protein bar.

WC  families are often asked to contribute baking and Up and Gos for regattas. The rowing foodies have factored these into the regatta menus and attempt to offer them at the appropriate times to the boys. For example, the baking with higher protein and carb content is offered throughout the day and that with higher fat content after racing.

The Up and Gos are offered as a great recovery food, meeting the right carb/protein ratio in a safe convenient packaging and attempts are made to have them available at the boat park so that they can be consumed within 30 minutes of a race hence maximising the recovery potential. However, we have found it difficult to control and educate the boys as to when to have them. Most boys wouldn’t have them if they have a very tight turnaround in races and they certainly aren’t intended for those not racing. The maximum number any boy would have per day would be 2 as there are other alternatives for post-race recovery. We expect the boys themselves to work out when during the day are the best times to have them.

Supplementary Food & Drinks
Generally, the rowers will work out for themselves what works best for them and we are very happy for boys to bring supplementary food/drink to accommodate this.

Examples of acceptable extras :

  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Creamed Rice
  • Sports drinks
  • Sports bars – these can be very expensive
  • Muesli bars - we would expect these to be the bars that are higher in protein and lower in sugar eg – mother earth nuts, tasti protein bars,

Be aware - CHOCOLATE and CHIPPIES– have a high fat content and you need to use more energy to store the fat. These have no place in a rower’s diet.