Diet and nutrition for swimmers
Swimmers spend most of the time in water – training or competing. Although the water in the pools is heated in most cases, as well as the area around the pool, it is still necessary for swimmers to get the energy for heating the body.
Due to the high consumption of calories (male swimmers can spend up to 3500 calories per day, while female swimmers can spend 2500 calories) it is the best idea to separate the diet into five smaller daily meals evenly distributed according to the training classes. In this way the meal will be digested easily and the swimmers will ensure proper energy intake.
You should take the first meal of the day, the breakfast, before the training. It is best to start with a meal of whole grains, cereals (combinations without chocolate pieces and sugar) with yoghurt or milk or slice of whole-wheat bread with cheese and orange or apple. You can also opt for a fruit smoothie in combination with whole-wheat and cheese.
After the training you should have another breakfast. This time, the breakfast should be slightly bigger in order to compensate the energy you’ve lost during training. It also needs to be rich in proteins because during this period the muscles are trying to rebuild and recover. Most athletes during intense exercise or right after the exercise eat a banana. The sugar found in bananas goes directly into the blood.
Many nutritionists recommend eggs or three egg whites and one or two egg yolks to be more precise. You can prepare an omelet with olive oil or cook the eggs and make a salad spiced with olive or pumpkin oil.
The main meal should be a rich source of proteins. So, you can eat chicken or turkey steak, tuna steak, blue or white fish. You can also add green leafy vegetables on the plate. They are rich in antioxidants and iron. Some of these vegetables are spinach, green beans, Swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower. In addition to vegetables, prepare a side dish that consists of carbs like brown rice, quinoa, couscous, potatoes or polenta. After the lunch you can take a small piece of cake, fruit yogurt etc.
The afternoon snack includes fresh seasonal fruit. It is a good idea to make a fruit salad from several different compatible fruits. Make sure that you eat nits too because they are packed with high-quality fats which must be consumed in order to improve your swimming results.
The dinner after training has to be light, but packed with proteins. Cheese is an excellent choice, especially in a combination with flax seeds and a teaspoon of oil with whole grain bread. Risotto with chicken, fish fillet or turkey breast in small amounts is another good choice.
Swimmers should not eat food that contains too much fat. The meat you eat must be of high quality, low-fat, so you should definitely opt for white meat instead of red meat more frequently. When it comes to drinks, try to eliminate juices rich in sugars and carbonated drinks. Drink tea, water and unsweetened isotonic drinks instead.