Comment gérer son effort et son alimentation en kayak

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ENERGY (AND FOOD) WHEN KAYAKING

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Sea kayaking is mostly a leisure activity, an expedition of one or more days with family and friends. However, there's a real endurance aspect, and it may be worth your while getting the lowdown on some sports nutrition and energy management.
A few tips to help you paddle for longer and more effectively can't do any harm, right?

 

 

MANAGING YOUR FOOD WHEN KAYAKING: NOT JUST FOR PRO SPORTS!

 

We know, we know! You go sea kayaking for pleasure, not to compete, but a day's kayaking can really take it out of you!
To manage your energy, you need to give your body the nutritional intake it needs, with sufficient quantity and diversity. What's on the menu? Vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates (sugars) and lipids (fat).

 

BEFORE A LONG KAYAK TRIP

Eat carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa, etc.). They'll be released into your body as you work that paddle.
 

DURING AN OUTING IN A HARDSHELL KAYAK

To replenish your energy go for sugars and carbohydrates together. Sugars will overcome your immediate nutritional needs and the carbs will take over a bit later.
Take energy bars with you, for example.
 
 food-kayak-expedition
 

Cereal bars are a good alternative for an outing on the water. They provide carbohydrates (cereals) and sugars (chocolate or dried fruit) all in one bite. They're also space-saving and slip easily into the pocket of your buoyancy aid, in a sealed container or a 5L duffel bag. Food at your fingertips, without letting go of the paddle!

AFTER EXERCISING YOUR MUSCLES

By late afternoon, you'll be feeling your muscles, and you can expect a few aches the next day. To rebuild, give them a supply of protein rich in a variety of amino acids: a meal with eggs, for example, is perfect. And it doesn't take long to get it ready either!

 

DRINK WATER TO FEED THE MUSCLES YOU USE WHEN KAYAKING

As you know, during an extended effort you should hydrate regularly! Yes, but when you sweat a lot you don't fully replace what you lose . . . Added to this is the loss of minerals, essential for the proper functioning of your body.
What can you do about it? Drink plain water or water enriched with mineral salts or isotonic energy drinks, which help you get nutrients back into the blood. And forget sugary drinks. They produce the opposite effect!
 

 

GO STEADY AND MAKE SURE YOU'RE SITTING RIGHT

 

Eating well isn't the only key to success on a long kayak trip. It's also a good idea to go steady and conserve energy. Don't push yourself too hard. Save those arms!

 

For efficient paddling, keep your back straight. If your sea kayak isn't equipped with one, get a removable seat: they help keep your back upright without stretching your lower back.
Another tip: don't keep your arms bent or you'll tire quickly. It's actually better to stretch them with each paddle movement. So reach for the water out in front!

 

CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY BY PADDLING EFFICIENTLY

 

On a kayaking excursion when you're camping out, a lot of the pleasure lies in the challenge. But it's important to adjust the distance and route to your physical condition.
So as not to burn yourself out in the first hour, paddle slowly but surely, with full, regular movements, avoiding painful jerks on your muscles.
 Why not try the technique used by experienced kayakers? They propel their boat by transmitting the energy in their arms down through the trunk to the legs and feet. By tensing your legs as you move your kayak forward, you won't be pulling so much on your arms and it's less tiring!
Drinks and cereal bars at hand, paddle in the hollow of your palms . . . You're well-fed and well-informed to take to the seas . . . and kayak for hours and hours!

 

 

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