Eating healthy, I have so much more energy.
– Felipe Gustavo
In this article I’m going to be going over some secrets to staying energised during long sessions, how having a little chew on something whilst you skate could be the deciding factor for whether or not you have the energy to keep pushing for the trick you’re trying, along with reducing how destroyed you feel at the end of the session, speeding up how quickly you recover, and keeping you skating at a better level for longer.
So when talking about nutrition whilst you skate we’ve got to split things up into 2 different types of sessions: ones that last less than 60 - 90 minutes and ones that last more than 60 - 90 minutes.
sessions less than 60-90mins.
For sessions that last less than 90 minutes, as long as you’ve had a good meal a few hours before you skate, like I went over in the last video, all you have to focus on is staying hydrated. Staying hydrated is massively important during any kind of session as you only have to get to about 2% dehydration and you’ll start feeling fatigued, you’ll start losing power, and as you get more dehydrated you can start getting headaches, feeling dizzy, and your face will start to shrivel up and shit will get serious. For these shorter sessions just make sure you drink when you’re thirsty and you’ll be fine.
sessions longer than 60-90min.
For sessions longer than 60 - 90 minutes things are a little different… In the last video I went over how to energise before you skate and how your body has a limited carbohydrate store with enough energy to power about 90 mins of intense exercise. The more you burn through this store, the less energy you’ll start to feel, you’ll start popping your tricks with less power, and just start skating worse in general. We all know what running out of energy feels like, BUT, it’s something that can be postponed even more by eating the right things at the right time. Getting in some carbs whilst you skate is the trick here to postponing the energy drop, and if you’ve just bought a new Kappa jacket from the second hand store, and are trying to film a banger in the hope of going viral on Instagram, this could give you the energy blast you need.
After you’ve been skating for 60-90 minutes have a little snack on something high in carbs and preferably with a small amount of protein every 15-30 mins, and try avoid eating a lot of fat. I’m talking literally a small handful of raisins and a few nuts, or half of a FLATBAR.
The specific recommended ratio is 4:1 carbs to protein and about 30-120g of carbs, 15g of protein, I don’t know if people care about the specifics but now you’ve got them, they’ve entered your brain and there’s nothing you can do.
The carbohydrates will slow down how quickly your energy stores are depleted and provide extra energy for intense movements like actually doing tricks, keeping you skating at a better level for longer, and they’ll also speed up how fast you recover after the session.
The protein will also help keep your energy levels up, along with decreasing muscle damage that comes naturally with skating, and speeding up how fast you recover from the session.
The first few sessions you try this you might feel a little hungry but you’re body will quickly get used to it.
One final thing to add is that if you’re going for a long session and you haven’t obeyed the information in the pre-skate nutrition article and eaten a good meal 2-4 hours before, then instead of cramming in a load of food just before your session, you’ll feel more energised by applying the information above from the start of the session. So instead of waiting an 60-90 minutes before you snack on something, do it from the start of your session. This will do a much better job at keeping you energised than forcing a lot of food in just before you skate. And like always, try different foods and different amounts whilst you skate and see what works best for you.
hydration during longer sessions.
During longer sessions you also need to try a little harder to stay on top of hydration, especially in hot conditions. Drink when you’re thirsty and try and drink at least a couple of 100 ml every 15 minutes. Drinking things like soda, energy drinks, and I’m sorry to say this guys, but beer as well, aren’t good options for keeping you hydrated whilst you skate and can have the opposite effect. Just drinking water if you’re snacking on some real food will be enough, or sports drinks can also be a good option as they also give you a blast of carbs, along with supplying you with some electrolytes. WTF is an electrolyte I hear you say?
Long story very short, electrolytes are things that conduct electricity in your body and are massively important for you to be able to skate. You can get the electrolytes you need to skate from normal salt. During a session longer than 2 hours you can end up running low on electrolytes, especially if where you’re skating is super hot or you’re sweating like a beaver. Running too low on salt can feel pretty similar to being dehydrated, it can leave you feeling fatigued, cause cramps, it can cause headaches, and leave you dizzy and confused. To restock your electrolytes during a session you just need some salt. Having a banana with some salted peanuts is an easy option.
Kickflip in the sahara, photo: Atiba