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Stephen Rowbotham- Rowing For The Gold

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Stephen RowbothamRowing is an endurance sport that has been part of the Olympics since the 1990 and needs the highest levels of physical fitness and stamina for good performance. Stephen Rowbotham, a British rower is a hopeful contender in the competition that will conclude on the 4th of August. He believes that good nutrition is important to help a rower achieve success. Sports nutritionists recommend a 6000 k cal carbohydrate rich diet that can be easily digested to provide sufficient energy. Let us take a look at what the ideal balanced diet for heavy weight rowers such as Stephen Rowbatham should be for the Olympics.

High Carbohydrate Diet To Build Endurance


A high carb diet menu which has a moderate protein and a low fat content is according to experts, the winning formula for a rower. Steamed, boiled and baked foods are to be eaten over fried and greasy ones and 5- 6 small meals are encouraged.

Ideal Diet For An Olympic Rower


  • Carbohydrates- Complex carbohydrates that are well cooked and soft are preferred for a rower. This ensures that the digestive system does not have to work very hard and all precious calories are preserved to give energy during the main event. Porridge, rice and fruits such as bananas supply the body with plenty of carbs and should be taken in the place of refined sugars like sweets and chocolates. 60% of the total calories should be carbohydrates so that glycogen stores do not deplete.


  • Proteins- A protein rich snack is advised after a game to aid in repair and recovery of the muscles that are heavily strained in this sport. Up to 1 g of protein per kg body weight is sufficient for a heavyweight athlete to build muscles and avoid fatigue. Lean meat that has been grilled, poached and boiled eggs, beans and lentils are good protein sources. Milk is the best high protein beverage to consume after a race.

Olive oil

  • Fats- They are important but needed in very small amounts. They should not exceed more than 20 % of the total calories consumed in a day. Mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids are plenty in vegetable oils like olive, sunflower, rice bran and should be consumed in place of margarine and butter.

Energy Drink

  • Fluids – They are indispensable in the diet of every rower as insufficient hydration levels can leave one tired and dehydrated. Plain water and energy drinks with added electrolytes should be taken in small sips every now and then. Sugary fruit juices should be avoided. Drinking too much fluid at a stretch can lead to bloating of the stomach and affect performance.

Pre Workout Meal

It should mainly be composed of carbohydrates and can include bread, cereals and fruits. The protein and fat content is to be kept to a minimum.


Post Workout Meal

Ideal meal post workout would be a combination of carbohydrates as well as proteins. Some examples are fruit smoothies, apple and cheese, soy milk and sandwiches and granola bars with chocolate milk.

Stephen Rowbotham's Diet


  • Half an hour before training, Stephen has a bowl of cereal every morning. This is a small meal that is mandatory as he does not practice on an empty stomach.

  • Breakfast is eaten after training and is a combination of carbohydrates and proteins such as eggs, oatmeal and yogurt.


  • Lunch is a a light affair and grilled sandwich that is stuffed with lean meat is preferred. This makes up for the glucose lost during training and also helps in muscle recovery.

  • A light fruit based snack supplies the body with carbohydrates and increases the stores of glycogen in the liver. This gives energy to a rower if glucose stores become low during a game.


  • Dinner is a hearty meal consisting of pasta, meat and vegetables. The portions that he consumes are massive and a much required part of the 6000 calories that he eats in a single day.

The nutrition plan for a rower is as important as training sessions and this is something Olympic hopeful Stephen Rowbotham has always stressed on. Good nutrition and a disciplined training schedule is the only formula to clinch the gold in the London Olympics.

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Stephen Rowbotham- Rowing For The Gold