Rowing is a tough sport. Races vary in length but the Olympic distance of two thousand meters is the most common. Rowing is a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic activity and to train and compete effectively, rowers must pay attention to their diets as well as their workouts. A well-balanced diet should deliver most of the required nutrients, but some rowers will supplement their diet with additional vitamins above and beyond the recommended daily allowances.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is water soluble. This means your body is unable to store it in any significant amount. Subsequently, it is important to consume adequate amounts every day. According to Concept 2, research suggests that rowers should consume 3 milligrams of Vitamin C per 2.2 pounds of body weight, rather than the RDA of 60 milligrams. Therefore, a rower who weighs 120 pounds would need to consume approximately 165 milligrams per day.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is closely linked to healthy immune system function. Rowers who train hard produce a lot of free radicals, which are molecules with an unpaired electron in their outer shells. Free radicals can cause premature aging as well as other more serious medical conditions. In addition, hard and prolonged training can suppress the immune system leading to unwanted, frequent illness.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B was once thought of as being a single vitamin. Research, however, has informed us that there are a number of B vitamins, including thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (Vitamin B12).
B vitamins, which are water soluble and thus need to be consumed daily, are linked to the efficient breakdown of carbohydrates for energy. Because refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice are partially stripped of their natural Vitamin-B content, supplementation may be useful for rowers who eat a lot of refined carbohydrates for energy.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it can be stored in your body. It is a powerful anti-oxidant, which is useful for counteracting the harmful production of free radicals caused by intense training. In addition, Vitamin E is linked to skin health and is a common ingredient in skin care products. Supplementing with Vitamin E may help protect your skin from the ravages of wind, sun, water and sweat.
Co-enzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a vitamin-like substance that is involved in cellular respiration and the production of energy in cells called mitochondria. CoQ10 offers a number of useful health benefits including lowered blood pressure and improved heart and lung health. In addition, it is linked to increased endurance and, without acting as a nervous system stimulant, increases energy.
- Concept 2; Vitamins and Minerals
- Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook; Nancy Clark; 2008
- Rowing Faster; Volker Nolte
- The New Vitamin Bible; Hester Mundis and Earl Mindell
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.