Windsurfing: learn how to eat and drink well | Photo: Neil Pryde

What is the best diet for windsurfers? Health promoter Henrik Beyer shares what research has to say about diets and how this relates to windsurfers.

In the beginning of a windsurfing season, many sailors realize that they have gained weight and consider to lose a few pounds. To what diet should they turn to help them?

Since the milk cure diet that was introduced in the 18th century, which assigned each individual a specific cow to drink from for a week, to "modern" high fat and low carbohydrates diets, we have learnt a great deal about healthy eating.

For centuries, diets have helped people to lose weight, but also consistently failed to assist people in keeping it off. Unfortunately, diets have a tendency to be short-term solutions to long-term problems, and can lead people to an unhealthy approach to food.

Windsurfers wanting to lose weight should ask themselves if they want a long-term solution or a quick fix that is likely to result in the weight returning after a few months. Losing weight is rather easy, but keeping it off is harder.

New studies by prominent researchers at Yale University have shown that there is no diet that is superior to the other in terms of offering ultimate health benefits.

"Rigid diets are not good. In fact, the best diet, is no diet", underlines Henrik Beyer, author of "Health and Fitness for Windsurfing."

Diets have a tendency to focus on individual nutrients such as carbohydrates or fat instead of approaching the foods we eat in its entirety. Windsurfers need carbohydrates and fat, as well as protein, vitamins and minerals to be healthy and fit for windsurfing.

The ocean is not only a windsurfer's playground, but also a great source of healthy foods that are rich in protein and healthy fats. Research has shown for a long time that eating mostly vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, limiting meat consumption to twice a week, eating fish twice each week, and consuming healthy fats - such as olive oil - will help you keeping fit and healthy.

"These foods will not only prevent chronic diseases but also likely assist windsurfers to keep their weight off long-term", adds Beyer.

If windsurfers have to pick a diet, the best option is the Mediterranean Diet, but all food recommendations obviously needs to be adapted to individual needs to deliver the suitable amount of calories and nutritional value.

Mediterranean Diet: the best option for windsurfers | Photo: Web

The Mediterranean Diet Food List

Fish and Poultry: chicken, flounder, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, salmon, shrimp, salmon, squid, tuna, tilapia, turkey; two meals per week
Healthy Fats: instead of butter, margarine, and vegetable oil; regular consumption
Vegetables and Fruits: artichokes, broccoli, celery, celery, eggplant, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes; regular consumption
Dairy: low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, yogurt and cheese; moderated consumption
Grains: barley, bulgur, couscous, oats, rice, wheat; regular consumption
Nuts: pecans and walnuts; moderated consumption
Water: regular consumption
Wine: one glass of red wine per day