Meal Plan for a Rower or Canoeist

Rowing and canoeing are sports which require a combination of upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness. At top level, rowers and canoeists need to train regularly and may add in some weight training and cardiovascular exercise at a gym two or three times per week. Even at recreational level, you need considerable energy and an optimal power to weight ratio, so a well structured nutrition programme will help you excel. Good nutrition will also help concentration, in order to maximise your skill potential.

Here's a sample meal plan which an active rower or canoeist could follow for a typical training day:

Porridge: 75g oats + 250ml skimmed milk + tsp sugar
2 slices granary bread, toasted + olive oil based spread + natural crunchy peanut butter
250ml fresh fruit juice
30 minutes weights moderate intensity
40 mins CV mixing high, moderate and low intensity
Sip plenty of water throughout
Immediately post workout
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
45 minutes later
2 squares Easy Flapjacks
Large handful mixed nuts
Large banana
Mug green tea
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet
100g mixed nuts, seeds & dried fruit
Mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
Rowing / canoeing
Sip plenty of water or isotonic drinkwhere possible
Immediately post rowing / canoeing
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
45 mins later
4-5 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
100g mixed nuts, seeds & dried fruit
Item fruit
Evening Meal
Lean fillet steak or chicken breast or fish + herbs to taste
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes or wholewheat pasta
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
1 hour pre-bed
30g casein based protein or protein combo formula
2-3 satsumas
Small handful mixed nuts & seeds

This plan is based around sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for exercise sessions. Oatcakes and granary bread will top up this slow released energy through the daytime. It also supplies adequate protein for muscle strength and repair. See our Glycaemic Index Tables for GI values of foods.

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients, however do bear in mind that the plan is merely a general guide, and there is no mention of portion sizes on purpose so that you can adapt it to suit yourself; remember men will generally require larger portions than women! You must eat a variety of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.