Freediving Nutrition – Things to Eat and Avoid
Nutrition for diving is a big conversation amongst freedivers. The freediving community is full of a wide range of people with different viewpoints on the importance of proper nutrition. Some people maintain a healthy diet all the time, others
The most important thing you can do to ensure a good day of diving is proper hydration. Proper hydration requires drinking plenty of water for several days in advance of a dive trip. When you are dehydrated it becomes hard to equalize. When that happens it becomes difficult or impossible to dive without injury. Drink plenty of water whenever you are on the boat to try and stay ahead of dehydration.
In that same line, you should avoid caffeine the morning of a dive trip. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks are dietetics, meaning they dehydrate you. If you can’t function without caffeine you can still drink it. You just might want to cut back from your normal consumption. Diving with a headache from caffeine withdrawal can almost be as bad as being dehydrated.
Dairy and Other Foods to Avoid
Dairy does not cause your body to increase mucus production. It has been linked to making existing mucus thicker, which is problematic while freediving. It’s a good idea to cut out dairy a few days before a big dive trip. Really any foods that cause inflammation can increase mucus production. If you are wondering, pretty much if it tastes good it causes inflammation, and from that increased mucus production. Here is an article that goes over a few types of food that are problematic to eat before a dive trip. The broad categories of problematic foods include dairy, refined sugar, carbohydrates, red meat, alcohol, and fried foods.
The Right Foods to Eat for Proper Nutrition
With such long lists of what not to eat we have to determine what foods are good for diving. Some foods that are on the foods to avoid do have some benefits that outweigh the negatives. Bananas are a perfect example. They are high in potassium and come in their own convenient packaging for the boat. Some people are superstitious about bananas on boats, so you might want to check with your buddies or guide before bringing them. Oranges are also high in potassium and make for a great snake on the boat. Potassium and proper hydration prevent cramping up during a long day of diving. Clean foods, like veggies and fruit that is low in sugar are the best options to keep mucus and inflammation down. Eating fish and chicken are good protein options. Breathable boat totes are a great way to keep all you water and foods and other gear organized on the boat.