Eating is important. It gives us energy on a dragon boat.
Dragon Boat Nutrition: What to eat before a dragon boat race or practice?
Dragon Boat racing is very short 2minutes to 4 minutes or even a longer 12 minute races,
depending if you are a competitive, recreation or novice paddler, or if
you are racing 250m sprint, standard 500m, 1000m, or 2000m Guts &
Glory races.. So it's neither a pure sprint or a marathon event.
During the first 6-8 seconds you use the ATP-CP energy (immediate/stored energy) systems in your muscles.
So I will usually eat more protein the night before such as a steak or fish dinner.
Next you use the short-term glycolytic energy system which usually lasts for 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
lots of good carbohydrates, this will give you the energy for the
glycolytic and aeorobic energy systems. This means lot of good fruits,
vegetables, pastas, rice, etc.
But this energy system also gives
you the lactic acid burn – so train for increased lactic acid
tolerance. This means lots of short drills for 30 seconds, such as
interval training. 20 seconds paddle, 30-60 second rest, repeat.
you start using the long term aeorobic system – 60-90 seconds into your
activity – which is why marathon bike racers do carb-loading by eating
huge pasta dinners before the Tour de France, because they want more
carbohydrate energy to burn in their bodies. So again, eat lots of
carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, pastas, rice. Ideal for any
paddler going into Guts & Glory.
RACE DAY: avoid
eating greasy fatty foods. This will sit in your system for 4-6
hours. Avoid being the paddler who orders a hamburger, then has to
scarf it down because the order came late, and their team has just been
called to marshall.
rice and vegetable dishes are ideal lunches for afternoon practices,
they are easily digested and you will have lots of energy to burn.
eating large amounts of refined sugars such as candy bars or soft
drinks just before going out on the boat. It will affect your blood
sugar levels and actually weaken your strength, and take longer to
break down. However, once you are actively working out, sports drinks
or juices are ideal for replenishing your system. Drink lots of water
during the day to avoid dehydration especially on hot days. Remember
that coffee, teas and alcohol can actually dehydrate the body.
a snack to eat and drink right after practice. This will help prevent
carbohydrate depletion and offset fatigue. Juices, fruits and energy
bars are ideal. Bananas are always favorites of athletes.
favorite foods between races are Bananas, fruit smoothies or carrot
& fruit juices – easy to digest, and fast energy. You can also try
After the last race of the day… carbohydrate replenishment choice is a nice dark beer!