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A Gear Shift for Oars, Courtesy of Chris Cunningham, Small Boats Monthly

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Snacks for Oar Cruising

This post provides alternatives to ‘feed the need’ for carbohydrates and hydration every hour or so throughout the day. We are assuming you ate breakfast, you will have your main meal at night and that you will not stop for a mid-day meal, but rather eat and drink throughout the day (recommended for all-day physical exertion).

Brenda L. Braaten, Ph.D., R.D. writes:
“To maintain energy levels over the long haul, snack on carbohydrate AND fat. Like M&M peanuts [30g carbohydrates, 13g fat], GORP [1 cup, 54g carbo, 50g fat], PopTarts [35-38g carbo, 3.5-7g fat], crackers or granola bars [17-28g carbo, 2-8g fat]. AVOID excessive amounts of the high sugar snacks, especially just before beginning your day--they may cause insulin levels to rise, which will work against you, locking your fat in storage, rather than making it available to your muscles…feed your body small frequent doses (25-50 grams every few hours) of carbohydrates throughout the day… [preferably with] complex carbohydrates, [such as] cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables, all good sources of carbohydrates.”
See Nutrition for the Rower for background information.

In her website, Brenda Braaten includes a table of various snacks. Shown below are the snacks that are high in complex carbohydrate (>90%) she recommends:
                         Qnty        Cal. Carbo(grams) Fat(g) Protein(g)
Dried apples     7 pieces   108  28                   .1        .4
Raisins              2 Tbls       75  20                    .1        .8
Prunes               5 pieces  100  26.3                .2      1.1
Dried apricots   10 pieces  83  21.6                 .2      1.3
Dried figs          2 pieces    95  24.5                 .4      1.1
Fruit leather 1 oz. 100 24.2 .8 .3
Listed below are a sample of ‘energy bars’ taken from the Wild Back Packer site:

Larabar, Cinnamon Roll
Size: 51 g
Calories: 240; from fat: 110
Fat: 12 g
Carbs: 30 g
larabar.com 
PowerBar Triple Threat, Caramel Peanut Fusion
Size: 55g
Calories: 230; from fat: 70
Fat: 9 g
Carbs: 30 g
powerbar.com 
Clif Bar, Chocolate Chip
Size: 68 g
Calories: 240; from fat: 45
Fat: 5 g
Carbs: 44 g
clifbar.com 
Bear Valley Pemmican, Carob-Cocoa
Size: 106 g
Calories: 440
Fat: 12 g
Carbs: 68 g
mealpack.com
“Tom” and “John” took part in a Trans-Atlantic rowing race, covering 2900 nautical miles in 58 days, 3 hours… arriving “in Barbados tired, sore, and leaner.” A thorough analysis of what they ate, what worked and what didn’t work is documented in the Journal of Human Kinetics.

Listed below (from pages 16-17 in the document) are examples of the ‘snacks’ they ate during two days (after breakfast and before evening dinner). The carbohydrate (carbo) and fat content is taken from "fatsecret" site... (Click on “Foods” tab and enter food in the search bar.)
Day 1:
Nuts: 1.5 cups peanuts (36g carbohydrate, 105g fat)
Fruit: 10 oz. dried apricots (some eaten at breakfast) (150g carbo, 0g fat)
Bars: 4 bars (1 Balance Bar (20-22g carbo, 7g fat), 2 NutriGrain Bars (24-34g carbo, 3-5g fat), 1 Clif Bar (29-45g carbo, 5-10g fat)
Sweet: 1 large (7 oz.) Hershey bar (117g carbo, 58g fat) 
Day 2:
Nuts: 6 oz. (3/4 cup) mixed nuts (27g carbohydrate, 52g fat)
Fruit: 10 oz. (about 2 cups) dried dates (215g carbo, 0g fat)
Bars: 3 Harvest PowerBars (20-22g carbo, 7g fat each), assorted flavors
Sweet: 3 Snickers Bars (1.86 oz, 33g carbo, 12g fat each)
In addition to carbohydrates, it is essential to hydrate… at least one pint an hour (one liter every two hours) depending upon temperature, humidity and level of effort. (See your doctor or a registered dietician to confirm how much you will need).

Using water as a base, following are suggestions on how you can add carbohydrates and provide some variety to what you drink:
Coffee. Starbucks carries a wide range of their “VIA” brand of instant coffees: for example, “Columbia”, “Latte Vanilla”, “Pike Roast”, “Italian Roast”, “White Chocolate Mocha”. Uses 8 ounces (236mL) of water per packet.
Gatorade Low Calorie G2 Powder. Three flavors, “Fruit Punch”, “Grape” and “Glacier Freeze”. Nutrition per packet: 45 calories, 250mg sodium, 75mg Potassium and 12g carbo (from sugar).Uses 20 ounces (1.25 pints, 590ml) of water per packet. 
Gatorade Endurance Formula Thirst Quencher Powder would be better for very hot conditions e.g., Texas 200, in which we are perspiring a great deal. Nutrition per 1.5 tbsp (22mL) of powder: 240mg Sodium, 140mg Potassium, 21g carbo and 80 calories, mixed with 20 ounces (590mL) water. 
Low-fat dry milk, ¼ cup (4 tbsp, 2 ounces, 60 ml) powder mixed with 8 ounces (240mL) water provides 215 calories 
Cocoa, 2 tbsp (8g) in 6 ounces (120mL) of hot water, 20 calories.

Note,  I am NOT a doctor nor a dietitian. Please contact your doctor and/or a registered dietitian if you have any concerns about how these suggestions could impact your health.

The key to sustained rowing (or any other sustained exercise such as cycling) is 25 to 50 grams of carbohydrate AND at least two pints (one liter) water every two hours.

Let us know YOUR favorite snack when rowing.

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