People often forget how important nutrition is when they swim. They adopt the mantra ‘the more you train, the better you will become’. Which, of course is true however fuelling your body correctly plays an important role in your training regime. Good nutrition can rebuild your muscles and replenish stores after a hard training session. The body is able to recover effectively for the next hard swimming session. With the correct nutrition, you can jump out of bed with a spring in your step instead of dragging your heavy body around.
This is a popular nutrition technique used for distance events and it is most effective for events that last longer than 90 minutes. That’s not to say to add a little extra carbs to your meals the day before any event would be unwise - they give you tonnes of extra energy (and maybe leave you a little bloated). Traditionally, carb-loading lasts for three days before the event however it is just as effective 24 hours beforehand. They should be 75% of your bodyweight and for example a 60kg athlete needs 600grams of carbohydrates.
Breakfast should include plenty of carbs such as a bowl of cereal, toast and fruit. Snack on fruit and cereal bars throughout the day. Have a carb heavy and vegetable dish for dinner the night before your race – eat nothing that will upset your stomach.
For your hydration needs, drink water continuously throughout the days in the lead up to your race. Don’t gulp your water all at once as it can sit in your stomach for a while and be uncomfortable.
You should aim to eat a high carbohydrate breakfast 90 to 120 minutes before your race. Choose foods that are low in fat and protein, which are harder to digest. These foods are less likely to cause stomach upsets.
Foods that are light and simple such as oatmeal with banana and milk or toast and jam are ideal for your pre-race breakfast. Be warned! Stick with what you know, don’t go try any new fancy food on race day. You won’t thank yourself for it.
When thinking of nutrition recovery, consider the best way you can optimise your performance. Use the four r’s to help you remember what you should be focusing on after you have finished an event:
Replace – Carbohydrates
Rebuild – Protein
Rehydrate – Fluids
Revitalise – Vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
Your 60-minute window after you have been swimming is the best time to refuel. An excellent recovery tool is a banana with chocolate milkshake. Another great option is berries or a bagel smothered in peanut butter. Be sure to have a snack or meal with adequate protein and carbs.
You have put in hours of training, indulged in some good recovery food, got the gear and are ready to go.
Monday Night Swim Session
Our weekly swim sessions are at Hamilton College, in the water from 7pm.
Winter Swim Session
Hope you can join us at Bardowie Loch on Sunday, we're in the water by 10am.