I met during the week with 2 doctors with a keen interest in sport and extreme environments for an informal chat about the nutrition and factors surrounding it for the row. It a tough topic for a lot of reasons. My current plan is for 5,000 a day but I'll be burning a lot more than that, meaning I'll be in a deficit so I need additional weight to use as fuel, the question was how to proportion that weight, exactly how much muscle versus fat?. Fat is sedentary and can be used as a fuel but muscle is costly to fuel and maintain metabolically, so I've to watch how bulky I get and where. The other problem is I'm an endurance athlete and i'm burning like crazy in training. The other thing is I know my own body and from previous exploits, fat is very easy to put on and even easier to burn off in an extreme environment day after day.
But I am happy with my body at the moment. I am back upto 80kg with about 10% body fat. I weighed 75kg with 12% BF 3 months ago. Next step is to continue the weight training over the summer to get that lean mass up over 83kg then add the fat a couple of months before off. For me muscle is very hard to put on, the heaviest I've ever been is 84kg as I'm a mesomorph body type. Also when it comes to adding the additional fat I'm going to do it through weight gainer and as healthy as I can find carb loading. As apposed to eating crap stuff. So step in Platinum and Diamond Clean Gain+
As for my nutrition for the row I've been lucky to get a great deal from Extreme Adventure Food, they've supplied me with 72 days of dried meals consisting of nearly 4,000 calories a day. A 800 cal porridge breakfast with added whey. A lunch meal of 1,000 Cals like a bolognese or chicken korma ,same for dinner and a 750 cal dessert. I've used this food in the past and it's my favourite also they go easy on the sugar content with a good spread of macros across all meals. The only addition to these meals will be extra fat I plan to bring with me. I'm still working on getting some sponsorship from an MCT oil company, (medium chain triclyeride) which is derived from coconut oil but it's more potent as well as being odourless and tasteless, a couple of table spoons of this in each meal will jack up my calories and increase my overall fat intake which I want to keep high. These meals are super easy to prepare, I will have a Jet Boil Flash stove which can boil water in about a minute, then just add to the packet, it rehydrates and is ready to eat in minutes.
The remainder of my daily calorie intake will come from snacks such as bars,biltong and sour squirms! I will make up a really varied load of snack packs and break out a new one each day, the key here is variance, I've done identical packs of 2,000 calories for the Likeys 6633 Ultra filled with fancy bullshit like dark chocolate covered Goji Berries and I was sick of it after a day.
The other 18 days of food comes in the form of wet meals. In case things go very wrong and I can't even add cold water to my dried meals. Which could mean water maker and hand pump broken,no means of heating water (both jet boil broken) and emergency water of 50l not available! These are ready to wet meals in a pack, the only thing is they are heavy and not as calorie dense as the dried meals. But the plan with these is to start to eat them well into the crossing. When I'm getting closer to the other side. The other advantage to having 90 days of food onboard is that day for example I finish in around 50 days then I will have a lot of extra food to eat toward the end of the voyage. Which will be the perfect time to need additional calories as I could be fairly skinny at that stage.
Even though i've tried a lot of different diets in the past, Paleo and Ketogenic for example. I generally do these as a sort of system reset or dare I say detox. I think heavy carb and calorific loading can be a bit much, so i'll go through phases of eating a bit more sparingly. I used to juice a lot, but i've eased off on that in the last while, again i'll go through phases with it. I hate cleaning up so i have a Hurom slow masticating jucier and make it in bulk then drink over a few days. Allegedly a slow jucier doesn't break down the enzymes and can last a bit longer. But i did get to try some great cold pressed jucies during the week and thanks to Juicy Lucy