What to eat, what not to eat. Paddler nutrition made easy

What should I eat for training & racing?

This is probably the most common question we are asked, and actually very simple to answer… ‘real food’.

Put simply that means locally sourced, seasonal, organic, fresh, unpackaged,  untreated produce.  We’re blessed here in the UK to have some fantastic organic and sustainably farmed meat and vegetables.  Our organic meat generally has extremely high welfare standards too. Please support your local farms and retailers by shopping locally, buying any shape vegetable or any cut of meat. Don’t be fussy, the ugly stuff often tastes the best!

In terms of what to buy, below we have shown the simple traffic light food selection system (adapted from Natural Food Finder) with what’s best to eat, what’s ok and what to avoid at all costs. You can also get some great seasonal produce charts such as this which will help you know what you should be buying when so it’s at it’s best.

Some other super simple top tips are:

  1. Never change anything on race day – this means eat your normal diet.  If you always have eggs for breakfast then have eggs, don’t go switching to porridge if it’s not what you eat.
  2. Don’t change what you eat for training – you should be able to undertake some heavy training load on a normal diet of three meals a day, you don’t need snacks, pre-workout supplements, protein shakes and such like
  3. Eat what works for you – we’re all different, some people are better with meat, only veg, some carbs, lots of carbs
  4. Coach Ryan’s favourite… If it’s in a packet… sack it – Nothing you buy should be packed up in plastic.  Food should be fresh, not processed.  There’s no need to have it peeled, sliced, packed up in plastic boxes.