Should I eat before and after diving?
Apart from the fact that following a healthy and balanced diet is essential to be in good health and have enough energy to practice sports.
* Avoid excess fat. In this way we protect ourselves from diseases associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes that could leave us on land without the possibility of being able to dive. Apart from having good food hygiene to be healthy, it is also important to have a healthy weight to feel comfortable in the water and so that we do not have to breathe too hard, that will make our dives shorter because we will spend the tank with our air reserve before the others, and we have to shorten our diving time. There's nothing worse than hearing the others divers’ comment on the amazing encounters you've missed right after you've had to come up onboard!
*Stay hydrated. It is important to drink a lot of water: it is recommended to drink at least 1.5L of water a day. Although we are submerged in water, we must be hydrated. We are doing sport; we burn calories and many times we are in a place on vacation where it is very hot. It may happen that you are also on vacation and take advantage of the all-inclusive with cocktails by the pool! In this case, it would not be advisable to dive if you have drunk alcohol that same day, and you should reschedule your diving activity for another day. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing DCS, nitrogen narcosis, dehydration, hypothermia, and may cause confusion and poor judgment when diving.
*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 andthe diver must be able to carry heavy equipment, so it is convenient to stay in good physical shape and eat foods that give you a lot of energy.
The diver's diet before a dive
After getting a minimum of six hours of sleep, the first thing you should do is hydrate. Drink at least a glass of water as soon as you wake up to activate your body. Hydration for diving is vital, but it is not only achieved by drinking water just before the dive. It is a process throughout the day, every day, especially in hot places. Don't forget to take a bottle of water with you on the boat when you go diving.
At breakfast time, as much as you are tempted to devastate the hotel's free buffet, you must be careful because eating the wrong foods leads to uncomfortable or even dangerous dives.
You should not eat excessively caloric or heavy. Foods with a lot of fat, spicy foods, industrial pastries or dishes with a lot of refined sugar will prevent you from digesting in time to get into the water, but don't just drink a coffee, because it would be insufficient. You will burn about 400 calories and could suffer from hypoglycemia.
A bowl of cereal with milk or yogurt and a piece of fruit would make a good breakfast. But forget the sausages with beans and bacon please!
Regarding the fruit, we recommend not eating juices or fruit with vitamin C just before diving, it could cause an excess of gastric juices and dizziness. A pear, a banana or a red apple would be a good option. If you don't like dairy or have an intolerance, we suggest a breakfast with an egg, nuts, and a piece of toast with avocado. Vegans can substitute the egg for tofu.
Between dives, eat slow-digesting carbohydrates to gain energy. For example, a sandwich of cooked ham or some oatmeal cookies.
The diver's diet after a dive
As we have said before, you have lost water, so drink water to rehydrate. You will also be hungry for all these sensations experienced in the water and the expenditure of calories to keep your body warm and to be able to fit comfortably. To regain strength, food intake should be based on at least 60% carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, vegetables. For proteins, we recommend oily fish and for vitamins, seasonal fruits, and vegetables if possible