After spending time out on the water, you will probably be hungry. Paddle boarding burns a lot of energy and builds muscle, especially in your arms and core.
A general fitness rule is to eat something with a lot of protein within 45 – 60 minutes after any kind of workout to help build muscle. As you are also using a lot of energy, you should replace that with carbohydrates. Also important are fluids – it’s very easy to forget to drink during a session and end up dehydrated, especially in warmer weather. A good sports drink will help recover that – if possible, though, you should also drink sports drinks during your session.
Here are some suggestions for good post paddle boarding snacks or meals:
- Smoothies, in the flavor of your choice. If you have issues building muscle, consider adding whey protein. Bananas are particularly good because of their high potassium levels. If you don’t already own a smoothie maker or blender, we suggest checking out this guide on home smoothie makers.
- Protein shakes or other liquid meal replacements. If you’re going to be driving a good distance back from the beach before you have chance for real food, a protein shake can be a great tide-over and fill that need for extra protein.
- Fresh or canned fruit. Fruit is a good source of natural sugars, which can help restore the energy you have burned and perk you up.
- Breakfast cereals or breakfast bars. A breakfast or muesli bar is another good way to get food into your system before leaving the beach, as is a meal replacement or sports bar.
- Milk. If you aren’t into smoothies, consider a glass or small bottle of milk to replace protein and help you recover. Bear in mind that milk substitutes do not have as much protein as cow, goat or sheep’s milk. If you are in the tropics, coconut milk is a good way to restore hydration, though.
- Meat, cheese or chicken sandwich. Lots of protein, easy to carry in the car.
- Baked potato with beans and cheese. This is a great vegetarian option (vegan if you use vegan cheese) for restoring a lot of carbohydrates quickly. As potato is a slow burning carbohydrate, it can be better for your weight and muscle development than sugars. Alternative fillings include tuna and egg mayo. Eat the skin – it contains a lot of vitamins.
- Orange juice. If you don’t drink milk, then a glass of OJ can be almost as good.
- Brown rice or whole wheat pasta with fresh vegetables and chicken (quorn or tofu for vegetarians). Pasta is popular with athletes as a quick way to restore carbohydrates.
- Seafood stir fry with whole wheat noodles or brown rice. You’re on the water, so enjoy some fresh prawns, shrimps or fish in a stir fry. Or look for something similar on a restaurant menu.
The key is that you need to ingest protein to help your muscles recover from the strain, carbohydrates to restore your energy and fluids for hydration. If you are traveling, then you may be limited to what is available, but try to choose whole wheat pasta and brown rice if at all possible and make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.