Simple Nutrition Guide for Scuba Divers
Scuba divers have to withstand extreme pressure and conditions with limited oxygen supply and heavy weights. Their nutrition should be as outstanding as their activity.
All sports have a specific nutrition guide to follow in order to ensure the optimal functioning of physical performance. Considering this, scuba divers have one of the most strict and detailed diets of all sports. This with the objective to prepare the body to withstand the deep sea environment.
Additionally, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and strokes are some of the risks that a good diet can prevent in scuba divers.
Scuba divers and nutrition: general aspects
Scuba divers usually follow a strict diet. Nutrition for divers is important because even indigestion can mean facing a dangerous situation under the water. Thus, a good nutrition guide is essential.
Generally, this nutrition guide consists of a balanced diet with several light meals. Scuba divers should prevent heavy digestion in order to avoid digestive problems. Thus, there are some foods and products that they should eliminate from their diets.
Additionally, an important factor for these athletes is controlling cholesterol levels. In deep water diving, we find very high atmospheric pressure that consequently demands a lot from the cardiovascular system. Therefore, an optimally functioning heart and healthy veins are essential.
Essential foods in a diver’s diet
Nutrition for scuba divers is quite different from most other sports. For example, carbohydrates are highly recommended for athletes involved in this discipline.
As for protein, divers should consume good amounts of protein from fish, as opposed to beef. This is because fish is less demanding on the digestive system. However, plant-based protein is also recommended as it contains a good amount of fiber to help digestion.
Additionally, fruits and vegetables need to be the main elements in this diet since they are not heavy. Divers should also consume plenty of water and liquids.
Before and after scuba diving
The foods immediately consumed before diving must be as light as possible, while still providing enough energy. For example, you can consume cereals, lactose, and fruits in the morning before a dive.
The more digestive the fruit is, the better it is. We highly recommend pears, pineapples, and strawberries. Bananas are also a great source of energy for scuba divers. After diving, you’ll be able to consume more heavy foods, such as cookies and bread.
Don’ts of scuba nutrition
All foods and beverages that hinder hydration need to be eliminated from this diet, especially before diving. And so, this list includes, but is not limited to sodas, tea, coffee, and of course alcohol.
Another food you should avoid a few days before diving are legumes such as chickpeas, beans, and lentils. These foods can cause gasses in the digestive system, that can cause problems when you’re diving.
Citrus fruit is another food you should also avoid before diving, except for pineapple. These types of fruit can increase the risk of vomiting in the water and that may generate breathing complications.
Sweets and other foods that cause acid reflux should also be avoided. Additionally, alongside banning certain foods, divers must make sure they rest well and avoid eating immediately before a dive. It’s not good to enter the sea during the time that the body is performing its digestive process.
Scuba divers have peculiar dietary needs due to the high-risks that bad nutrition can have while in the water. Therefore, good nutrition can reduce the risk of certain eventualities while diving.