Since deep sea diving entails plunging to depths of 40 meters, a certain diet should be maintained by divers lest they want to experience discomfort during their underwater journey. At such depths, divers need to be energetic, limber, and focused, which can all be achieved with diet. Without the right nutrition, divers can get cramps, the bends, and worse. But don’t let any of this dissuade you from going on a scuba adventure with sublime sea life. Eating a deep diving diet is simple – it starts with carbs and ends with water.
Whole Grains and Veggies
Unlike participants in other athletic activities, divers don’t need to carb load the night before. Divers do need carbs and calories, of course, but the meals should be spaced out over the week before the dive is set to occur. Too much food – especially the fatty and oily kinds – will sit in a diver’s stomach, making him or her queasy during the dive. Therefore the meals should be clean and lean. Whole grains, pasta, and veggies are good carb sources that will give the diver energy without overwhelming his or her body. Despite popular belief, a diver is allowed to eat before going in the water. Although it shouldn’t be pasta, divers should treat themselves to a small breakfast of cereal, yogurt, toast, etc. one or two hours before taking the plunge. Eating is also encouraged during resurfacing for divers to replenish their energy. Protein bars and bananas are some of the preferred diving-break snacks.
Lean Meat and Alcohol
Since many people deep sea dive as part of a vacation, they will be tempted to imbibe in the local food and drink scene – possibly even the night before a dive. This is okay as long the drinking is done in moderation and the cuisine consists of fruits, nuts, and fish. Lean meat is preferable to red meat and whole fruits and nuts are preferable to processed food that is high in sodium and saturated fat for the reasons already discussed. Under no circumstances should a person drink alcohol during or directly before a dive, but a few glasses of wine throughout the week won’t hurt. You can pair Merlot with freshly caught salmon and still be in good shape for a dive – so long as you drink plenty of water before and after.
A Whole Lot of Water
Water is the most important component of a deep sea diving diet. Staying hydrated prevents not just decompression sickness, but cramping. Suffering from cramps 40 meters below the ocean’s surface surrounded by sharks and other marine predators is not a good look. Drinking lots of water the week leading up to a dive, a half an hour before a dive, and between dives will save you from your own body. A half hour separation is recommended between drinking and diving to prevent divers from urinating in their wetsuits.
Deep sea diving is a fantastic way to spend a vacation, but it requires a tiny bit of discipline when it comes to diet. From a week to an hour before the activity, divers should consume low-fat, high-carb foods, drink little alcohol and plenty of water. A well-prepped body is a safe submersible.
By Jennifer Dawson