DIET OF A SWIMMER
Swimming is a sport which can be played individually or as a team. It requires the player’s body to be floated throughout the water. The area it needs to be held in includes swimming pools or open waters, eg: lakes or rivers etc. competitive swimming has made its place in one of the most popular Olympic sport with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. Along with the individual events, it is allowed for four players to take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay means that four swimmers, swimming in different strokes, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Each stroke has its specific swimming techniques; in competition, there are different rules which are concerned for acceptable form of each and every stroke. There are also rules for which types of jewellery, swim-suits, caps and injury tapes are allowed for the swimmers. Although it is common for the swimmers to get some injuries during the game, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or kneestye health benefits that are associated with this sport cannot be neglected.
The Olympic swimmers eat a legendary amount of food. Michael Phelps, Back in 2008, Lochte’s teammate and rival —he of 21 gold medals and counting—became famous for his 12000 cal per day diet:
Breakfast:, fried onions and mayonnaise. Three chocolate-chip pancakes. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelette. One bowl of grain. Three fried-egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes Three slices of French toast topped.
Lunch: Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread. One pound of pasta, , plus energy drinks.
Dinner: an entire pizza, and One pound of pasta, even more energy drinks.
The meal plan given below will keep you fit and will boost up your exercise capability
The first meal of the day is the most important. It gives you energy for the complete. Eat unbuttered toast. 2 pieces of whole grain toast, 1 cup of oats, 2 eggs, milk.
If you are the one who exercise regularly, snack is a much needed thing. The only thing to be kept in mind is that if you eat many a times in a day, just keep your meals smaller. You can choose to eat nuts/dried fruit, grapes, blueberries, apple, glass of milk with a banana.
After the workout, you need your muscles to be recovered, so, you need a protein rich diet. You can make protein shakes at home. Also, you can add half a banana with it. For the meal, you can choose from Tuna with bread(wholegrain), small baked potatoes, egg, beans. Sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, peppers can be added.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring. You can have variety in your diet. For the dinner, you can have: fish, steak, chicken, turkey, lean mince, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, peas, mange tout, beans, cauliflower, peppers.
You may not like to have anything before going to bed. But if you are exercising regularly, you may have to consider taking some milkshake or milk before going to bed. This can help to give your muscle an extra boost.
FOR FEMALE SWIMMERS
Janet Evans, an Olympic gold medallist, knows a perfect diet plan for female swimmers. She says that the key to perfect nutrition is to make sure that you are getting enough vegetables and fiber.
Banana, egg white, Metamucil. Banana helps your metabolism going. Tye egg white cooked in olive oil gives you the protein you need to work out. Metamucil is one of the best psyllium fiber to start with your fiber intake.
Fresh fruits make up for a perfect brunch, apples can be considered if you want a lot of energy together.
Black bean burger. Try to have mixed greens in your lunch, and pack your lunch with veggies. Healthy fat requirement should also be completed, so, try adding avocado for it.
Greek yoghurt with fresh blueberries. Blueberries not only add flavour, but also add nutrients to the food.
Fresh veggies, salsa, chicken fajitas, tortillas(whole wheat).
DIET FOR YOUNG SWIMMERS
Young swimmers need to take care of their diet as much as the adults.
Bread and bread rolls, fruit bread, noodles, quinoa, pasta, corn thins, crumpets, tortillas, wraps, rolled oats should be included in their diet.
Flavoured milks, milk desserts, custard, yoghurt are some of the dairy products that are needed to them. Some of the non dairy alternatives such as soy milk can be included.
Fruit requirements can be completed with canned or dried fruits, fruit straps, or 100% fresh fruit juices.
Vegetables and pulses include potato, soy beans, bean mixes, chickpeas, baked beans.
FLUID NEEDS FOR YOUNG SWIMMERS
Fluid losses and fluid intake may vary differently for everyone. If your child is sweating a lot more than usual and hence has a lot of fluid loss. You need to compensate for the fluid losses of your child. The colour of the urine is the best indicator for hydration. Urine of darker colour than usual, indicates that the body is dehydrated and hence you need to drink more water.
But then there is a condition of hyponatremia, this happens when you drink too much water. If your child is going to washroom quite often fluid intake needs to be reduced.
A GENERALISED VIEW:
Getting right nutrition is the most important thing for athletic success. the choice of the right meal and the right snack everyday, will improve your performance physically and mentally too. You will be able to train harder for longer, will recover your energy immediately, just in the swim breaks and, most importantly, increase your speed at the swim meets. Not only this, but it keeps you healthier whole season long, that means now you don’t need to skip your trainings and competitions due to sickness.
Carbohydrates are the important fuel for athletes with high performance.
As an athlete, carbohydrate is your body’s needed food, mainly for high performance swimming. Eating carbohydrate rich food all day long increases your muscle fuel and lets you do more hardwork in training. . All of your meals and snacks should be based on carbohydrate foods. However, not all carbohydrate rich foods are the same in nutrition. The quality of your carbohydrates is essential! Good quality carbohydrates will provide you energy, gives good health and help you to give your best at the swim meets. Whole grain breads, oats, pasta, chick peas, beans, whole grain breakfast cereals, quinoa, baked potatoes, brown rice, sweet potatoes, sweetcorn, lentils and fresh fruits.
Protein is important for repairing and growing muscles.
Your body requires a continuous intake of protein at regular time intervals for ongoing muscle repair and growth. It is not important to take high amounts of protein as any excess protein will not get changed into more muscle, but will be stored as fat or burned as fuel. Each of your meals should include a not more not less serving of lean protein, one-quarter of your plate. For snacks, include some protein with your carbohydrate food. Easy protein sources for snacks are milk, yogurt, cheese, and nuts.
The pre-training meal or snack varies with how much time you have in your hand before your training starts, what foods you can eat and your own choices. Your meal or snack should always have necessarily carbohydrate to increase your muscle fuel which will let you to perform harder and get the most out of your training session.
The more time you have pre training, the more protein you can have in your snack time. Some good pre-training meals and snacks include:
2 hours before training: Toast and boiled eggs, or a baked potato with cheese and beans, or a sandwich with ham or chicken, or a rice bowl with lean meat and veggies.
1 hour before training: granola and low-fat yogurt, whole-grain cereal and milk, or toast with a small amount of peanut butter and jelly or a homemade smoothie made with fruit and yogurt.
30 mins before practice as you don’t have much time to digest your food, choose a light carbohydrate snack such as a banana, or a granola bar, or raisin bread or a bagel,.
Be hydrated before the training starts and hence include some drink in your snack.
A good pre-training snack not only increases your energy levels but also increases your concentration and wish to work hard!
Post Training Nutrition
Eating as soon as possible after training (especially during the first 30 minutes) is important for starting your body’s recovery process. If you miss this important recovery window, you will reduce your ability to immediately refuel and recover your muscles. This is mainly necessary if you have more training sessions in single day.
Try to eat a quick snack within 30-minutes of completing training. It should contain mainly carbohydrate (40-80g) combined with some protein (10-20g). The snack needs to be low in fat to increase digestion which recovers your muscles quickly. You also ned to include some water or juice with your snack. Low-fat flavoured milks (like chocolate milk) and smoothies made with low-fat milk or yogurt are great. They completes the requirements for your carbohydrate, protein and fluid needs!
Some other good post training snack options include:
- Granola Bar and cup of low fat Greek yogurt
- Low fat cheese and crackers plus fruit
- Sports Recovery bar (check the amounts of carbohydrate and protein on the wrapper)
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Honey sandwich and 2 boiled eggs.
FOR FASTER SWIMMINMG:
Nuts and Seeds: These foods are rich in healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. consider using them as topping for cereal, yogurt, or just grab a handful. If you’re not allergic to pecans and walnuts, the have also proven to be high in a diverse range of vitamins and acids that provides balanced moods and increased energy levels.
Beans: Full of fiber, iron, zinc, protein, and magnesium, beans are a great addition to a large variety of meals. Mix into a burrito or salad, Roast them for a crunchy snack, or throw them into a pasta dish.
Berries: Cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all rich in antioxidants. Consider mixing them in your smoothie for a addition of flavor or consume them plain for a tasty treat.
Unsweetened dark chocolate: Dark chocolate has exceptional antioxidant powers and no added sugars, if consumed in moderation.
Low-fat yogurt: it is an amazing source of calcium, potassium, vitamin D and protein, it also gives long lasting energy and increases muscle recovery. For even more protein, look into the Greek varieties.
Milk or soymilk: Dairy is the best natural source for calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin D. If you prefer soymilk, buy versions rich in calcium and vitamin D. both options are great post-workout recovery drink.
Dark-green leafy vegetables: Vegetables like kale, spinach and collard greens are high in iron and calcium. To increase the iron absorption from the vegetables, take them with foods rich in vitamin C, or serve with meat.
Orange fruits and vegetables: These foods are rich in vitamins C, E, A, and potassium. Your immune system will remain very healthy.
Russet and sweet potatoes: potatoes can be a healthy part of one’s diet, but not much people believe it. Russet potatoes are antioxidant-rich while sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, which helps in promoting endurance
Apples: Regular apple consumption has been believed to increase strength to fight against free radicals. These unstable molecules try to make bond with other molecules to enhance their stability. When free radicals make bond with body tissues, they speed up the aging process and can lead to long-term health complications. Free radicals are believed to cause cancer and some autoimmune diseases. Antioxidants help to prevent these free radicals from bonding.