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On a day-to-day basis, the divers’ diet is the same as a healthy and active person follows. In the case of the divers, we need to eat properly to dive a lot and frequently for many years. It is not a way to eat during a week or a month, but a lifetime. So, we divers need a complete and balanced diet.
Regarding general rules, the diver’s diet must:
- Avoid excess fat. In this way, we protect ourselves from diseases associated with obesity (cholesterol, cardiovascular problems, or diabetes) that could leave us grounded forever.
- Keep the diver hydrated.
- Provide the diver with energy. Although diving is a physical activity that is not very demanding in terms of physical effort, it does involve a high expenditure of calories. The body must be kept warm under water. In addition, the diver must be able to carry heavy equipment, so it is advisable to stay in good physical condition by practicing other exercises.
A diver’s diet plays a vital role in our good physical condition on a diving day. There are no food miracles to prepare a dive. By contrast, there are eating behavior guidelines to optimize the experience. That is the goal of this article. We consider the diver’s diet for diving, what foods to eat, which ones to avoid, and which ones are forbidden.
The Diver’s Diet Before a Dive
You wake up early. Today you will do a couple of dives from your dive resort, and you head to the hotel buffet restaurant for breakfast. You’re on an all-inclusive basis, so you walk in ready to be amazed by the selection of dishes on the buffet. Well, stop. You’re already off to a bad start!
After six to nine hours of sleeping, the first thing you should do is hydrate. Drink at least a glass of water or two. Hydration for diving is vital, but it is not achieved by drinking water just before the dive. So, start drinking water as soon as possible. Our recommendation is to drink 2-3 glasses of cold water about three hours before the dive. The diver’s diet should provide for fluid loss while diving. Compressed air-breathing and diuresis by immersion are the reason why you will lose water while diving. So, remember, drink up.
Now, let’s have breakfast!
A divers’ diet just a few hours away from jumping into the water should protect the body during the dive. Eating the wrong foods leads to uncomfortable or even dangerous dives.
If you follow the general recommendations of the diver’s diet described below, you are already a well-fed human being. This breakfast should not be excessively caloric or heavy. But please don’t just drink a latte with nothing else either, because that would not be not enough. You will burn around 400 calories, and you could suffer from hypoglycemia.
A bowl of cereal with milk or yogurt and a piece of fruit would be a good breakfast.
Regarding fruit, we recommend not to drink juices or eat fruit with vitamin C just before diving. Although they should be a regular part of the diver’s diet, ingesting them now could cause an excess of gastric juices and dizziness. A pear, a banana, or a red apple would be a good choice.
If you prefer another type of protein instead of dairy, we suggest a breakfast with an egg, nuts, and toast with avocado. If you are vegan, change the egg for tofu.
Between dives, eat slow-assimilation carbohydrates to gain energy. For instance, a cooked ham sandwich or some oatmeal cookies.
The Diver’s diet, What Should You Not Eat Before a Dive?
Never drink alcohol before a dive. It could result in disaster. Drinking increases the risk of developing DCI, nitrogen narcosis, dehydration, hypothermia and may cause confusion and poor diving judgment.
Fatty foods, spicy foods, industrial pastries, or foods with a lot of refined sugar will prevent you from digesting in time to get in the water. You will be heavy, and you could have gastric problems that will spoil your dive. Avoid them.
If you are in an exotic country, save the dining experience until the diving is done. Stick to your diver’s diet with familiar foods to avoid gastritis.
For convenience, avoid soft drinks and carbonated beverages. You know, the bubbles should be yours.
Diver’s diet after diving
As mentioned above, you have lost water, so drink water to rehydrate. Base your food intake on carbohydrates, at least 60%. It will help you to recover energy (pasta, rice, vegetables, etc.), proteins (bluefish if possible) vitamins (fruits and vegetables).
This is our proposal for the diver’s diet before the dive. What do you usually eat? Tell us on Facebook.