How to Fuel for an Indoor Rowing Race

Rowing & Regatta nutritionist Jacqueline Birtwisle shares her tips on how to fuel in the lead up to and on race day, just in time for the British Rowing Indoor Championships.


It is the perfect time to start thinking about how to fuel your race day.

Your meal the night before

A pasta or rice based dish is ideal, with some (not too much) chicken, egg, fish or meat and some vegetables – just make sure you cook it thoroughly (food poisoning is your worse case scenario with less than 24 hours before a race!)

For example, spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread. Followed by bananas and custard or ice cream or plain yoghurt with a honey & granola topping.

Drink some diluted cordial or high juice i.e. one containing carbohydrate (even more important if you struggle with the ‘bulkiness’ of the starchy carbohydrate foods).

Your race day breakfast

This can be eaten 3-4 hours before race (if longer you may wish to include a see pre-race snack too).

  • Beans on toast
  • Cereal, with milk and toast
  • Breakfast smoothie

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Whilst called a breakfast smoothie it could be drunk at anytime during the day when a nutrition boost needed as it provides low GI carbohydrate foods and is packed with essential nutrients.


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) roasted (salted) peanuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) wheatgerm or flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons whole rolled porridge oats
  • 2 heap. teaspoons honey
  • 125ml skimmed milk
  • 125g low fat live yoghurt e.g. vanilla or peach flavoured


Blend the milk and yoghurt together and add the banana and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend to the desired consistency – add more milk if preferred.

Approximate Analysis Per Serve

  • 334      Kcals
  • 50g      Carbohydrate ‘high’
  • 12.3g   Protein ‘high’
  • 10.7g   Fat ‘moderate’ (‘low’ saturated)

Your pre-race snack

1-2 hours before race

  • Cereal bar
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • Banana
  • Malt loaf or raisin bread.

Your post race drink and snacks

Think fluid, carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes:

  • Filled roll – tuna/peanut butter/chicken/egg, a banana and water
  • 500ml flavoured milk
  • Couple of cereal bars and ½-1 pint milk.

Source: How to Fuel for an Indoor Rowing Race

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