Mark Philips from ‘Stand Up Fitness & Wellbeing’ brings us the next article in his SUP survival series which focuses on several aspects of health and fitness, lifestyle and nutrition, rest and recovery, and advice on how to implement these key elements into your busy schedules. This time he talks about the importance of starting the day off right and eating the right foods, to help ensure you make the most out of your SUP session. If you missed Mark’s first article click here. Over to Mark…
I’ve been noticing more and more that people are getting injured or just making themselves sick and run down from not eating, preparing, or recovering and resting in the correct fashion which ultimately means less time on the water. Therefore for this article I have decided to share some tips and advice that I like to employ myself to prevent injury and improve recovery and rest. I’ve also shared some neat little tricks that you can all implement into your daily lives to make your water time more enjoyable, safer, injury free and make you a more efficient paddling machine at the same time! Good nutrition really is one of the basic key elements to protecting the body from injury and sickness. When you pair this with a suitable, functional exercise regime and you allow your body to recover and rest sufficiently, everything else will fall in to place. Because of the complexity of this topic I will break it down in to 3 separate articles so that I can give you all the relevant information in a digestible format that you can keep referring back to. Now I’m not going to start on the water, in the gym, or after the expensive physio once you’ve nailed yourself yet again. I want to start right at home, from the ground up, and take you through until you’re ready for anything. Sounds good right?…………O.k let’s go.
START THE DAY OFF RIGHT
Personally I like to start off the day by resetting my body with a glass/mug of warm filtered water with an organic lemon squeezed in to it. This puts your body in a hydrated, cleansed, alkalised state. Although lemons have an acid P.H outside the body they have an alkalising effect inside the body due to their mineral content and Anionic effect. Apart from being an amazing body alkaliser, here are my favourite lemon water benefits:
1. Lemons are antiseptic
2. Lemon water has excellent digestive properties and can ease heartburn, bloating and other digestion problems
3. Lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys
4. Lemon juice contains Vit C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium
5. Lemon juice has been known to relieve asthma
6. Lemon water (hot) offers relief from cold and flu symptoms while providing some much needed Vitamin C
7. Lemon juice is a great skin cleanser, it doesn’t create acidity in your body and has many benefits including immune system booster, anti-inflammatory, lowers bad cholesterol, aids digestion and many more. 
Top tip: When making the drink use lukewarm filtered water to maintain the maximum alkalising effect and preserve the precious enzymes. Also make sure to use fresh lemons as after 30 mins of oxygen exposure their composition alters slightly losing some of their beneficial qualities.
If you’ve got a tea stained mug, it’s worth making it in that as the lemon juice will remove the stains and it won’t adversely affect the drink.
Drink it just before bed as well as in the morning to really maximise the health benefits!!
Amount of Lemon Juice: <150lbs = Half Lemon >150lbs = Whole Lemon
Everything works better when you start the day off right, and if your joints, muscles and organs aren’t inflamed and are functioning correctly you’re already ahead of the pack!
I like to stay with the anti-inflammatory, immune-system boosting theme for my breakfast and every subsequent meal because if you’re like me, and love to exercise and put stress on your body, you are going to be inflamed and run down by default and in need of some physical and mental TLC. One of my favourite breakfasts is natural yoghurt, raw honey, frozen blueberries and crushed, mixed nuts on top (all organic). It’s just amazing to fire you up before an interval session on your new race board.
I make sure that I eat iron, calcium, selenium and omega fat rich foods to keep everything functioning at full tilt and I always drink at least 2.5 – 3 litres of water a day. I eat organic as much as possible to avoid pesticides, contaminants and genetically modified organisms to protect my body and give myself every benefit possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid processed/refined foods such as white sugar, white rice and white flour products and I never drink sodas especially so called diet sodas. Avoiding grains and legumes completely is a great way to live once you realise it’s not actually that hard and the benefits will speak for themselves!
1) The iron rich foods will aid in boosting oxygen transportation from the lungs to the entire body and assist your muscles in storing oxygen ready for your next paddle. Lack of oxygen can impair your brain function and decrease immune system capabilities. 
2) The calcium rich foods will aid the growth and maintenance of teeth and bones, nerve signalling, muscle contractions and certain hormone secretion. A deficiency in calcium can lead to numbness in the fingers and toes, muscle cramps, lethargy, loss of appetite and more. 
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3) The selenium rich foods are the ones I hold in highest regard as they are vital to immune system function. Selenium works in conjunction with several vitamins and glutathione as an antioxidant to prevent free radical damage in the body. It’s thought to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and repair DNA. Low levels of selenium can contribute to autoimmune problems and it has been linked to stomach, throat and prostate cancer although more research is needed here. 
Brazil nuts are pretty much the best form of selenium along with sunflower seeds, fish, shellfish, meat and poultry, eggs, mushrooms, grains and onions to name but a few. 
(Don’t overdo the Brazil nuts as they are high in omega-6)
4) The omega fat (PUFAS) rich foods are very important for many reasons. It’s a fact that the majority of people are lacking in omega 3 in their diets which has many health implications. Omega-6 on the other hand is added to so many foods in one form or another (oils, nuts, seeds) that it’s very rare for someone to be lacking in it. You must try and balance out your omega-3 and 6 consumption at a ratio of 1:1.
The human body can manufacture omega-9 from omega-3 and 6. Some major benefits of omega-9 are that it plays an essential role in reducing cholesterol levels, strengthens the immune system, reduces risks of cancer and prevents atherosclerosis . It is also great for diabetics since it lowers insulin resistance. This assists to improve the maintenance of blood sugar.  When there are more omega-6 fats, greater amounts of inflammatory compounds will be created, and lesser enzymes will be available for omega-3 fats to create chemicals that are anti-inflammatory. What’s even more shocking is that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids can actually replace and reduce omega-3 fats. [6,7]
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I would like to say that I don’t eat anything with Soy in it which is in the omega 3 list as it’s packed with anti-nutrients and toxins that can cause all manner of adverse effects from liver disease to infertility.
If you wish to learn more take a look at this web document here : www.optimumchoices.com/Soy
Check this chart out for a listing of the omega-3 and omega-6 content of several common foods: chriskresser.com
Here’s a great resource for help in balancing your fatty acid consumption: theconsciouslife.com
Naturally you should aim to eat a well-balanced diet and not eat/supplement excessively with any one type of food/nutrient as this can lead to complications, some detrimental to your health. Eating a balanced diet typically furnishes sufficient amounts of electrolytes to maintain healthy nerve and muscle function and fluid balance, all of which are super important when paddling your heart out! To replenish electrolytes on the go you can consume bananas, coconut water, trail mix and electrolyte replacement drinks to name but a few. Stay away from the added sugar options, and if you can, make your own.
Top tip: Try mixing 12 fluid ounces of water with ¼ teaspoon of salt, 22 fluid ounces of pure fruit juice and 2 fluid ounces of lemon juice. Himalayan pink salt is best 
Make sure you are drinking at least 8 glasses of fluid a day (1 every 2 hours). Water, pure fruit/veggie juice, milk, soups and of course my beloved hot lemon water will suffice. These fluids will aid in nutrient transportation and hydration of the lymphatic system and help to keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons nicely lubricated and functioning properly. When you deprive your body of fluids you can feel tired, sluggish, decreased immune function, constipation, lack of energy, lack of sleep, lack of mental clarity and more.  Here’s a couple of superb resources to calculate your daily water requirements: www.naturodoc.com , www.livestrong.com
That’s it for now. Hopefully you’ve found out a few things that you can implement into your daily routines to keep you healthier, stronger and less prone to injury. In part 2 we’ll carry on with this topic and I’ll tell you how to bullet proof yourself against injury using exercise and SUP specific dynamic warm-ups and stretching.
Until then, Mahalo for reading, a very Merry Christmas and see you on the water – Mark (from Stand Up Fitness and Well Being)
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8. http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-omega-9/ I would like to take this opportunity to thank some people whom without their support and kindness I would not be able to do what I do!! I would like to thank Nicola Todd who is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
With her help I have finally managed to come to terms with my cancer and other associated problems for the first time in about 5 years. I feel like I’m in control again, and I am so much happier and healthier as a result.
Nicola used CBT Mindfulness and EMDR techniques to help crack my code and I feel like I owe her my life. Please check out her website if you think you could benefit from her help as I have.
I would like to thank Scott Warren from Tushingham/Starboard for all his on-going help and support. You’re a top man Scott and I look forward to seeing you soon!! www.tushingham.com/sup/starboard
I would like to thank all the guys at Holy Sport and FCS for their help and advice. Thanks Jon and Liam!! www.holysport.co.uk/ eu.surffcs.com/eu/index.aspx
I would like to thank all the guys at Quick Blade especially Jim and Hugo for their support and amazing service. You guys are awesome!! www.quickbladepaddles.com/our-paddles.html
I would like to thank John Tarrant from Bradshaw Taylor, suppliers of Icebreaker Merino wool sports and leisure clothing and Keen footwear amongst others for his kindness and friendship, and of course amazing products. bradshawtaylor.com/
Last but not least I would like to thank Nick and the guys down at Wittering Surf Shop/Drift-In Café for their kind help, support, laughs and amazing food.
Also, massive congratulations to Nick and Lizzie on the birth of their beautiful new-born baby boy ‘Foxton George Cheshire’ what a little stunner!! www.witteringsurfshop.com/ Persons who are of good health, suspect of their health or are aware of any conditions, physical deficiencies or diseases should always consult a physician before undertaking any eating or exercise program.
Not all the information supplied in this article is to be considered as medical advice unless otherwise stated in provided reference material, and is therefore for educational purposes only.