Diet of Canoe Sprint

The training diet should be focused on fuelling for training and recovering appropriately prior to the next session. Energy requirements are individual, but are often high due to maintain a high level of lean muscle mass and the meet the needs of a high volume and frequency of training.

Sprint Canoe/Kayak is not a professional sport and many athletes have to self-fund or part fund training and/or competition expenses. It is often difficult juggling the high-energy needs and being prepared with appropriate training snacks around busy training and work/study schedules.

Requirements will vary according to daily training sessions and the individuals body composition goals however, in general, the training diet should comprise of a balance and variety of wholegrain and low GI carbohydrates, with lean protein, low fat dairy and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Ensuring adequate and appropriate nutrition around training sessions is critical for recovery. Eating a carbohydrate and protein containing meal or snack before and after training will assist to optimise gains in muscle mass and maximise training adaptations, whilst replenishing glycogen stores for the next training session.

Carbohydrate intake should reflect daily training demands. For example, carbohydrate needs are lower on days with skill-based/low intensity training sessions, rest days and when tapering training for competition. During moderate to high intensity training and competition, athletes should increase the amount of carbohydrate rich foods in their diet as they are the primary fuel source during high intensity exercise. Eating additional carbohydrate focused snacks before training and at meals will help. Some pre-training snack suggestions include:

  • Cereal with low fat milk and a banana
  • Muesli or nut bars
  • Fruit smoothie or flavoured milk
  • Sandwich with lean meat/cheese/peanut butter
  • Tub of yoghurt or glass of milk and a piece of toast
  • Wholegrain crackers and a tin of tuna or chicken
  • Whole Grain toasted sandwich
  • Handful of dried fruit and nuts
  • Hummus with crackers and vegetable sticks
  • Homemade muffin or muesli slice or bliss balls