Bronwen Lundy (BSc Hons), MND, APD, Advanced Sports Dietitian) is a Senior Sports Dietitian at the AIS and the lead Dietitian for Rowing Australia and the Australian Rowing Team. Bronwen works closely with the Australian Institute of Sport as well as RA in providing the best support and feedback on nutrition practices as possible. This could include providing recommendations on changes to body composition, how to periodise nutrition intake to training load and strategies for managing competition in the heat.
Nutrition for elite rowers starts with normal healthy eating principles. Given the amount of training undertaken it is hardly surprising that there are some differences between what is ideal for the general population and what makes the boat go faster.
Key areas of nutrition to think about for elite rowers include:
- How much do I need to eat and when? You need to think about periodising your diet in the same way as you do your training load.
- Does it matter where I get my energy from? Should I be eating more protein, more fat or more carbohydrate?
- What is my optimal body composition? Where is the sweet spot between being lean, eating enough to adapt to your training, avoiding illness or injury and having enough power to make the boat go fast?
- How do I travel well? What are some of the things I need to think about? Are there differences in my nutrition when I travel to cold or hot environments? What difference does altitude make?
- As a female athlete, is there anything specific I need to consider to stay healthy?
- As a lightweight or coxswain my weight management is important. What is the best way to do this to go faster and stay healthy?
- Do I need supplements? What are the risks? What are the alternatives? The Rowing Australia Sport Supplement Policy and factsheets can help you to understand if and how these might fit in your plan.
Rowing Australia has a list of preferred nutrition providers who are experienced in working with rowing and can help you with some of these questions. This list can be found here
For specific questions and resources around lightweight rowing please contact Bronwen Lundy
For school and club rowers take a look at our community rowing page for nutrition information that better suits you. Click here for more information.