Volvo Ocean Race toll on health nutritional balance

Finding your nutritional balance in times of change

At Apsu, we promote healthy diets and a nutritional balance and whilst we often use the strap line ‘supporting the athlete in you’, we aren’t just about helping your sporting endeavours. 


We want to help you look after your health, as a whole.  We’re here to support you, from when you’re active to when life throws a curve ball and you find the day-to-day hard.


I have been taking Apsu for 6 years and bought the company just over two years ago. Initially I didn’t feel that I needed to take supplements after having been on what I considered a good enough diet. Eventually I gave Apsu a try. I was so overwhelmed with the positive health benefits and energy it gave me, that I became a team rider and an Apsu advocate.


Nutritional Balance Through Divorce


When I went through my own personal battle during divorce, I relied on Apsu even more. My nutritional balance collapsed as the emotional drain took its toll and my diet became less than wholesome. I knew that by taking the Superfood Multivitamin each day, I would get all the vitamins and minerals my body needed to keep me ticking over. I knew it would help me maintain my mental and physical health, whilst dealing with one of the most stressful personal situations in my life.


Nutritional Balance in Sport


I only wish that Apsu had existed for the many stressful situations I found myself in as a professional yacht racer over the years. The recent Volvo Ocean Race has served as a timely reminder of the incredible nutritional roller coaster offshore sailors put themselves through.


My relationship as Race Ambassador to the recent edition of the Volvo Ocean Race forced me to consider the diet of the modern day endurance offshore sailor. As a veteran endurance athlete, I have always researched the challenges and health risks that are associated with light weight food provisioning, particularly freeze-dried food. 


Nutrition Neglect from Short-Term Diets


This is a world where sailing yachts are carbon fibre. The essence of racing is saving displacement weight in the vessel wherever possible. This focus on achieving the fastest boat speed has a toll on human health through the reliance on light weight freeze-dried foods that are carried and consumed onboard over periods of several weeks or months at sea.


Two of my three previous passages around the world under sail have been non-stop. In 2002, I was part of the team that set a world record of 64 days. In 2004-2005, I endured a solo journey spanning 80 days at sea. During the solo journey there was a great deal of focus placed on diet and nutrition, with everything we needed for the entire race stored on the boat in exact measurements. 


Since 1997, I have been reliant on a heavy exposure to freeze-dried food during long ocean adventures and races. This was always accompanied by many warnings and a regimented transition when starting and finishing such a diet.


Freeze dried food can be quite harmful to one’s health. Today’s products are often very high in sugar and, if not well-controlled in reconstitution, can lead to the food rehydrating in one’s gut after initial consumption. 


Since the early days of professional nutritional advice regarding dehydrated foods, the likes of sailors and mountaineers have been warned of the potential harm that such a diet can have on the health of any individual, most notably the risk of diabetes.


In this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the risks were the same as they have always been. 


We have been contacted by many sailors who are struggling with sudden weight gain, high levels of fatigue and general illness such as the flu or common cold-like symptoms. This is understandable given the shock to the bodies and minds of these incredibly brave and battered men and women who have devoted their lives to the sea and to winning this ultimate seafaring challenge over a twelve month period. 


Aware of this early, we researched the benefits of our Superfood Multivitamin and can clearly see that the formula and ingredient balance is an excellent match for supporting these sailors and other people who struggle to find their nutritional balance through times of change and stress. 


It is alarming to think that many athletes who perform in these type of events or adventures finish their devotion to a goal and within days are having to manage their return to ‘normal’ life.


Our ability to really help and protect the health and wellbeing of these athletes, and anyone going through major life challenges, is something that we take great pride in at Apsu. It is the reason why we exist and we wholeheartedly believe that we can make a great difference to individuals at elite and recreational level in any sport.


By Nick Moloney, ex-professional sailor and co-owner of Apsu.

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