Nice to Meat...Louisa Sawers (World Kayak Champion)
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
Louisa Sawers is an elite British kayaker who ended the 2014 by winning the K1 5000m World Championships in Moscow. She began kayaking at the age of 10 and has represented Great Britain since she was 16. As you might expect from a World class athlete, training and dedication account for a huge amount of her success, but equally important to her is diet and the fuel that powers her fitness regime, which is why she is so careful about where her meat comes from.
She took time out of her busy training schedule, to speak to us, and give us an insight into what fuels a World ChampionWhat is a typical day for you?
I wake up at 7:15am, and have a quick breakfast like Marmite on toast with eggs. Then I pick up all of my post training snacks (piri-piri chicken, dried fruit/nuts, homemade protein shakes) and head to Dorney Lake for training session number one at 8.00am.
After the first session I have a protein smoothie, then I head over to Bisham Abbey for a second session at 11.00am which is either bike, yoga or pilates. This is followed by lunch, which is almost always leftovers from yesterdays dinner, then I have a catch-up with my coaching team and physio or nutritionist. I then head into the gym at 4.00pm, for a weights session followed by another high protein shake, before my drive home.
Dinner varies, but I always cook from scratch, my nutritionist wouldn’t allow me to have processed foods. I make things like homemade sushi, salmon pie or honey and soya chicken, served with avocado, lentils or quinoa salad. Recently I have been making a lot of homemade burgers, the best variation so far is with lean steak mince beef mixed with finely chopped onion and garlic, soaked bread in milk and seasoning. It’s then the usual household routine of washing and ironing, preparing meals and snacks and sorting out my bag ready to do it all again the next day. I’m usually in bed at 10.00pm.Is what you eat essential to training and recovery?
It’s very important to eat good quality meat and lots of foods that are going to aid my recovery. Eating lots of food high in sugar and empty calories don’t help me recover from a big gym session to hit another big paddling session the next day, so I need lots of protein to repair my muscles so your meat is ideal!How do you stay motivated?
I have a brilliant support team in and outside of kayaking. My team mates support me when I’m down or struggling as we spend so much time with each other so we know what each other is going through. I also have great support outside of kayaking, which is important to put things into perspective.How do you like to relax?
I relax by cooking, which is lucky, because I do so much of it to make sure I know what I’m eating is the right stuff. I tend to turn on some loud music at home while I’m cooking, but I also like to just chill sometimes and read a good book.As a World Champion, what is your next big goal to achieve?
My next goal is qualifying for the Olympics in Rio 2016. I am actually out in Brazil at the moment for a three week training camp. It is at the holding camp for Team GB which will be used before going into Rio in 2016, so it’s great to be here, and hopefully I’ll be back again next year.
image credit: canoephotography.com