Nutrition requirements:

Rowing typically requires long hours of training – rowing sessions, gym sessions and other aerobic training. During competition, you’re exerting maximum power and strength in a relatively short time so you need to train for both strength and endurance. Rowing has the added pressure of keeping your weight below a certain limit if you’re in the lightweight category so fine-tuning your nutrition is very important.

You need to eat a lot to fuel your body well with complex carbs for energy, substantial amount of protein and small amounts of healthy fats to maintain your weight.

Key points:

1. Hydration is crucial – always have water with you or alternatively, carry a camelback for long training. Isotonic drinks can be a lifesaver for training that lasts longer than an hour.

2. You need a lot of energy so carry some quick snacks with you to eat before and between training sessions – fresh and dried fruit, nuts and seeds, rice cakes, oat cakes, smoothies, energy bars (ideally nut, fruit and oat-based) etc.

3. Post-training, have a nourishing smoothie with protein powder, protein shake and fresh fruit, or a wholemeal sandwich with veggies and smoked tofu/tempeh slices or hummus. Good carbs and protein will ensure optimal recovery.

4. If you have early morning training, have a carb-based snack before and a proper breakfast afterwards. If you’re pressed for time, make an extra rich breakfast smoothie with oats and nut butter the night before so you can drink it right after your training.

5. As you’re burning a lot of energy, make sure you’re eating enough and always include wholegrains or starchy vegetables in your meals, alongside protein sources and vegetables. If you’re not sure about your schedule, take some extra snacks with you and always keep a pack of nuts and dried fruit in your bag.


Sample Meal Plan: If you’re in the lightweight category, Endurance Athlete, if you’re a heavyweight, Strength Athlete is the right fit for you!

Inspiration: David Smith, Michaela Copenhaver, Ida Andersson, Greg Bailey and Jude Massey

David Smith, MBE, Paralympian Gold medallist: “I am 100% plant-based and feel it has not only had a massive impact on my sporting performance, but more importantly my health and the health of the planet.


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