Nutrition tips for competitive swimmers

A balanced diet is essential for the success of the competitive swimmer.

A balanced diet is essential for the success of the competitive swimmer.

If you're serious about swimming, then you're probably aware that your diet is just as important, if not more important, than a racing swimsuit. But maintaining a healthy diet means more than just eating fruits and vegetables. 

Here are a few suggestions for how to get your eating habits to help you improve your swimming performance: 

  • Eat exercise-friendly meals – If you'll be headed to a tough practice later in the day, you'll want to make sure that the foods that you eat don't make you sluggish. Carbohydrates and protein levels in all meals and snacks should be high, while you should keep the consumption of unsaturated fats to a minimum. 
  • Include protein during every meal - Protein builds and repairs muscle – which undergoes a lot of wear and tear during the training season. To get enough protein, you don't need to consume powders and shakes. Eggs, dairy, beans and nuts are all good sources. 
  • Remember to refuel – You should eat a healthy snack 15 to 30 minutes after a workout. Your body will need the boost of carbs and protein to help you get through the rest of the day. Although it's not very exciting, low-fat chocolate milk has been shown in several studies to be an effective recovery beverage. 
  • Snack during the day – Competitive athletes need to eat regular meals throughout the day to provide energy for practices and competition in addition to aiding the body with recovery. The snacks that you eat should be low in fat and sugar, but high in protein and carbohydrates.