Food does NOT make a swimmer swim fast. QUALITY training does, and a vital part of quality training is good nutrition. The main source of energy during training comes from carbohydrate and high carbohydrate meals and drinks are essential to provide energy and help recovery. Here are some tips:
The 30 Minute Rule Your muscles recover best within the first 30 minutes after exercise. A low fat snack, containing 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrate eaten soon after training will help.
Here are some examples of appropriate snack foods and their approximate carbohydrate content:
- An apple, banana or orange: 15-20g
- Muller rice: 20g
- Nutrigrain Elevenses bar: 25-30g
- Fruit Shake or Smoothie: 25-30g per glass
- 1 thick Jam or Honey sandwich (no or minimal butter): 50g
- Malt Loaf (Soreen): 18g per eighth of a loaf
- Fig Rolls: 13g per biscuit
Other excellent snacks: Rice cakes, dried fruit
Food containing a small amount of protein might be appropriate after intensive training. A carbohydrate based snack with some protein (such as a low fat milkshake, yogurt smoothie, chicken, egg, tuna or ham sandwich, or breakfast cereal with low fat milk) followed by a balanced meal one or two hours later is ideal.
30 minutes before training, have a snack with fruit juice. Have breakfast after training.
Guidelines for event meals
2 – 4 hours before the race have a high Carbohydrate, low fat meal such as breakfast cereals, porridge, bread, toast, fruit juice, fruit, rice cakes, plain crackers, boiled rice, potatoes, boiled pasta, dried fruit, oatmeal or plain whole meal biscuits and muffins.
Avoid sugars (simple carbohydrates) as these release energy quickly but trigger the release of insulin, which can have a negative impact on performance.
30 minutes before the race a small snack (examples above) may be eaten.
If the interval between races is less than 30 minutes, drink fluids.
If the interval between races is up to 1 hour, have a snack (examples above), with plenty of fluid, up to 30 minutes before the next race.
If the race interval is in 1 to 2 hours, have a small high carbohydrate, low fat meal.
If the rest period between races is longer, the swimmer should have a substantial meal no later than 2 hours before the next race.
Important: As water is stored with carbohydrate it is essential that lots of fluid is drunk with meals and snacks.
For more information please see Nutrition Resource Website here..