Nutrition for Surfers with Sandy’s Soulfood

My love for the ocean is just as strong as my love for food. I am a qualified nutritionist and I surf three to four times a week. It simply goes hand in hand, doesn’t it? Well, I know it does for me. The hours I spend riding waves on my longboard, bathing in the delight of the best dopamine fix I have ever had. I am guilty of spending a good two hours without a break for some surfs. After that, I am starving and very thirsty. So, I usually grab a protein bar and a big swig of water until I am home to nourish my body with a well-rounded meal.

You burn a lot of calories surfing, which can really dehydrate you, so it is very important to top up on nutrients. I always feel I have completely worked every muscle in my body, and a good stretch and an Epsom salt bath help to increase my recovery time

Nutrition Tips

High Protein foods are essential to help with muscle recovery, maintaining blood sugar and supporting our production of collagen. Collagen is important not only for good skin health but also for the health of our joints, bones, tendons and connective tissue. It is critical to look after our joint health, especially as we are starting to age. We begin to become more susceptible to injury, especially around menopause and post-menopause. Eating a well-rounded meal of good protein, carbohydrates, fresh organic fruit, and vegetables.
– Free Range Chicken
– Grass Feed Beef
– Plant-based proteins such as tofu, lentil, kidney beans, halloumi and organic nuts
– Collagen Protein Powders and Broths may strengthen your gut health and intestinal integrity.

All of the foods above are also brilliant for joint health and connective tissue repair. Nuts, seeds, and nut mixes are fantastic for a quick protein hit, also high in good fats for energy and good immunity and hormone health. A protein shake can be a great way to fill up before you surf. Packed with amino acids, protein and a good handful of berries will give you a great burst of antioxidants and be great for your immune system. There are many different protein powders like hemp, pea protein and whey (dairy by-product).

Choose what is right for your diet. Most products contain at least 20g of protein per serve and all the important amino acid profiles. Let’s face it lying on your board with a full belly is a little uncomfortable, ha, so a protein shakes or piece of fruit before a surf can still give you the energy you need to perform. You may also consider taking some post-workout amino, you can obtain this from a health food store or gym, which is excellent for energy production and recovery. Lastly, a bowl of yoghurt and granola topped with your fav fruit before or after a surf will give you some beautiful nourishment and nutrition.

Let’s face it, if you are anything like me and stay out for just one more, that then becomes another hour, then you may
need to top up on your H20 fast. Keeping some good quality filtered water handy, and even some coconut water, will benefit you. Coconut water contains electrolytes that can help replenish what you may lose through the sun, surf and salt water,
Bananas are high in potassium, one of the four electrolytes, so keep some handy in your surf bag too.

Surf tell us that most surfers spend 54% of the time paddling and 28 % waiting for the waves –
I mean, some days involve more intensity than others, depending on the conditions, right?
You feel like you spend more time paddling then riding a green wave. I like to take a good quality magnesium powder after a long session to help with muscle recovery and fatigue. You can also obtain magnesium by eating baby spinach, cashews, almonds, chocolate, rolled oats, chia and pumpkin seeds.

A typical surf menu for a surf day;
6am – Coffee with oat milk, reishi mushroom and mesquite powder
(great earthy flavours to add extra stamina and antiviral properties)
A poached egg on gluten free toast
7am – Surf check and surf
9 or 10 – Protein bar or Protein shake / A piece of fruit
12pm – Leftovers comprising a form of animal or plant protein, salad and veggies
4pm – Handful of nuts or organic corn chips and hummus
6pm – Freshly cooked local fish and salad or a homemade dahl, coconut rice and organic veggies
8pm – Stretching, magnesium and a hot epsom salt bath
Liquids – At least 2 litres of filtered water.

Why not try one of my favourite smoothies to help replenish you? This smoothie can be consumed as a good energy starter for breakfast or any time of the day. It will clean and help to alkaline your body. Brimming with magnesium!

Serves 2 The green room


¼ cup of Baby Spinach

1 stick of Celery

¼ cup of Organic Blueberries

½ cup of cubbed Pineapple

Small handful of Mint

1 peeled Cucumber

8 raw Cashews

2 cups of Coconut Water

1 peeled kiwi

½ peeled Orange Blueberries and Orange slices to garnish

1 scoop of Super Greens to help aid in alkalizing, bowel health, and blood cleanser. (Optional)

Method: Blend all the ingredients in a high powered blender and mix well. In summertime, you might like to add ice

Sandy resides on the Mid-north Coast with her two beautiful children and her two little grandkids. For over 20 years, she has worked in the natural therapy industry and has a great passion for good nutrition and cooking. She is always chasing waves and cooking up new recipes to nourish herself, her family and her clients. You can follow her on Instagram @sandys-soulfoods or visit her website Sandys Soulfoods – Home. In 2022 Sandy printed and self-published her cookbook Sandy’s Soulfood’s, if you are interested, you can purchase it directly through her online shop.

Join the She Surfs Film Tour mailing list so you are first to be notified of screening dates and special offers.

Share this article: