I have recently completed some ground-breaking research into the nutritional requirements of old geezers such as myself who are preparing to compete in a Laser Masters World Championship, and in particular the perfect way in which to satisfy those needs. I have identified four essential food groups...
Alcohol. It's a closely guarded secret that a Laser Masters Worlds is not about sailing; it's really about the parties. The organizers will have a party for the opening ceremony. They will have another party for the prize-giving and closing ceremony. There will be at least one other official party during the week. Each major nation and continent will organize a party for its sailors; there's bound to be a North American Laser Class party. Some of our fellow sailors will organize parties too. At all of these parties huge quantities of alcohol will be consumed. None of us wants to be a party pooper. Now is the time to increase our daily alcohol consumption in order to raise our alcohol tolerance to the level we will need to face the challenges of Masters Worlds parties.
Fat. We are going to need to raise our calorie intake too in order to meet the physical challenges of racing in those 30 knot winds and 12 foot waves off Hayling Island. Have you ever studied the calorific contents of various nutrients? Carbohydrates and protein only have about 4 kcal/gram. Fat has over 9 kcal/gram. Fat is the way to go, obviously. Eat more fat.
Sugar. During digestion, sugars are rapidly broken down into glucose by digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestine, and then absorbed into the blood stream and dispersed around the body as energy for muscles and cells. Sugars provide the best way of raising our energy levels quickly. Sugar is the way to go. Eat more sugar.
Caffeine. The 2010 Laser Masters Worlds is being held 5 time zones east of where I live and 8 time zones east of California. That means that we US sailors are going to be getting up to start preparing to sail each day at a time that our body clocks think of as the middle of the night. We will need vast quantities of caffeine each morning in order to function effectively in this disorienting situation. We need to start acclimating our bodies to that now.
So what food contains all four essential food groups... alcohol, sugar, fat and caffeine? Irish Coffee is the answer. I recommend one large Irish Coffee for breakfast and one for lunch each day, one immediately before sailing, one immediately after sailing, one after dinner each evening, and one before going to bed each night. You will be amazed at the effects on your metabolism, general health and energy levels.
By the way, contrary to what you may have read on a certain blog today, Irish Coffee was not invented in San Francisco.
The original Irish coffee was invented by Joseph Sheridan, a head chef at Foynes, County Limerick in Ireland. Foynes' port was the precursor to Shannon International Airport in the west of Ireland. The coffee was conceived after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat on a miserable winter evening in the 1940s. Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was Irish coffee.
Years later in 1952, Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, discovered Irish coffee at Shannon Airport and decided to bring it from one cold, rainy, drizzly, foggy place to another cold, rainy drizzly foggy place... San Francisco. The good news is that the Laser Masters Worlds in 2011 will be in San Francisco and they already know how to make Irish Coffee for us there.
I think I'll go to bed now.