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FIPSAS (Italian Underwater Federation) Federal Doctor of the Apnea Indoor Italian Team, who has reached amazing results in the last World Champ, Maria Silvia Amaddii talks about alimentation.

AP: Doctor, you are in charge of the diet of the Italian Team who has won 18 medals in the last Apnea Indoor World Champ. TO be number 1 you also need to eat like a number 1? 

MSA: The girls and the boys of the Italian National Team have been, as always, fantastic, and without their efforts, their passion and their amazing team spirit, none of this would have been possible. O course, to win you cannot forget a good diet, well balanced and thought specifically for each athlete.

AP: So no suggestion for freedivers and spearos that follow AP, the indications can only be given specifically of each person? 

MSA: Well, not really. I mean, there are general indications that can help all athletes and enthusiasts, of every nationality and breed. But for specific recipes I can only help with the Italian ones ;)!

AP: Great. So which are the basic indications for the breakfast, for example before a session of freediving, or a spearfishing activity?

MSA: First , it is not necessary to revolutionize everything, and one can maintain her or his own habits, also to enjoy breakfast without too many sacrifices. But we must follow a correct diet, and all nutrients must be present: carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, ect.

AP: Some specific attention to be made? 

MSA: Be careful with fats and do not abuse of coffee, even though, for those who are used to it and tolerate it, milk and coffee is ok. The problem is actually non the caffeine, as one usually thinks, but the fact that the coffee berry itself contains fats and waxes on the external bark, that with the roasting temperature alter and become difficult to digest and are not good.

AP: And sugar? Full energy? 

MSA: Unfortunately no. Also sugar is something to make attention of, since carbohydrates are ok, but the complex ones, present for example in bread and rusks, while sugar should be avoided. Remember that white sugar, which comes from beet, is not healthy also and especially because it is treated utilizing substances (sulfites) that actually remain in the sugar and are not good for our organism. So if it has to be sugar, we should utilize the brown sugar, being careful it is not treated white sugar subsequently colored. Still talking about sweet food, we must also avoid fructose. In fact, this is again a product extracted and treated artificially through procedures that spoil the substance and, at that point, what is the difference between sugar extracted from beet of fruit after all? If you wish to utilize fructose, well there is plenty naturally in honey!

AP: And milk?

MSA: For those who tolerate it well it is ok, but better to use semi-skimmed, to lower quantity of fats, and fresh milk.

AP: Other suggestions?

MSA: To avoid having blood sugar swings, it would be advisable to always start from non-sweet food, and after that eventually eat sweet ones. So, also at breakfast, it would be good to eat bread with ham, speck or bresaola. Proteins in fact stabilize glycemia and so the insulin. Sweet food will be possible after that, but it will have to be simple and home made, such as an apple-pie or a tart, and rusks with jam. .

AP: But jam generally contains sugar!

MSA: Not always. Some jams are natural and without sugar, such as hero and Rigoni di Asiago (an Italian brand). Moreover remember that if a jam is without sugar but with grapefruit juice, this is not ok, since sugar is still present even if not treated. Certainly everything that is added with sugar or contains sugar tends to ferment, blowing up the tummy, lifting the diaphragm, and negatively acting on the apnea, in addition to contributing to cases of reflux.

AP: And the quantity of food allowed at breakfast ?

MSA: These are totally specific for each pone of us, without exaggerating of course.

Click here for the pdf of possible breakfast diets from Amaddii.

AP: And for those who really cannot manage to go in the water with their stomach full?

MSA: There is an alternative. They can use maltodextrin (slow release complex carbohydrates) and amino acids, but also protein bars.

AP: But there are tons of products and brands. A dispassionate suggestion?

MSA: I consider of very good quality the products from Named, such as the Super Proteinbar Named, bar of 32 or 17 grams of proteins, plus maltodextrin. Together with these we will need to drink a lot of water.

AP: Thanks Doctor. So next time you will tell how how to reintegrate when in the water for long spearfishing sessions?

MSA: Thanks to you and…sure!

You might also be interested in: The diet of the Champion (Goran Colak)

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