07 February 2018
HIGH LEVEL NUTRITIONAL INFO
There are different types of ‘fuel’ – the prime one being;
(Carbs) are key; however, there are two types;
- Simple = cakes, buns, chocolate, fruit, sweets…
These provide a ‘Quick fix’ therefore you can take a small level of these around 1-2 hours before a swim if you need an energy burst - but it doesn’t last.
- Complex = pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, veg…
These are the best source of energy and give you lasting energy which you store in your body and are slow release – so you will have more energy for longer.
Protein and Calcium (for development)
- Males are growing and developing until they are around 21
- Females are growing and developing until they are around 18
- With training there is an increased need for protein and calcium.
- Aim for a pint of milk a day, or ½ pint and 2 yoghurts
All swimmers should follow a low-fat diet. Having low fat levels help us move through the water faster! Saturated fat is everywhere – and in many ways, cannot be avoided - but there are simple approaches of reducing our intake.
Tips to reduce Saturated Fat
- Choose low fat milk, cheese, yoghurt.
- Avoid fried foods and takeaways.
- Grill meats; don’t always eat fat & chicken skin.
- Use margarine thinly.
- Choose low fat biscuits and snacks.
- Read & use food labels to eat low fat – all the info is there.
GENERAL NUTRITIONAL TIPS
Fuel up: Eat a meal 2–3 hours before training (carb & protein & some low fat)
Hydrate properly: Drink 200 – 300ml 2h before swimming
Suitable pre-training meals:
- Jacket potato with cheese, tuna or baked beans plus veg
- Pasta with tomato-based sauce or pesto; cheese, tuna or chicken; plus veg
- Rice with chicken, fish or beans plus veg
- One pot dish with pulses, veg, lean meat or fish PLUS potatoes or pasta
- Sandwich/ toast with tuna, cheese, chicken or peanut butter
If you don’t have time for a meal (e.g. early morning training), have a snack 30 min before training with 200 – 300 ml water. You should NEVER train on empty! You will feel better.
- Toast (wholegrain) with honey or jam
- A banana (or other fresh fruit)
- A handful of dried fruit (e.g. raisins, apricots)
- A cereal bar
- Porridge or wholegrain breakfast cereal with milk
Prevent dehydration: drink plenty
Refuel (if training hard for > 1 hour): carbs
- drink around 300 – 500 ml per hour
- drink little and often, ideally every 15 – 20 minutes
- If training for 1 hour: water or sugar free squash
For training sessions lasting longer than 1 hour, swimmers could find that consuming additional fuel (in the form of a drink or as food), helps maintain their performance and delays fatigue.
Suitable drinks include:
- Squash (diluted at least 1 to 6) – regular or ‘high juice’ squash
- Diluted fruit juice (diluted at least 1 to 1)
- Isotonic sports drinks (expensive and not really necessary!)
- Water – plus a snack (see below)
Mid-training snacks (training over 1.5 - 2 hours):
- A banana
- A cereal or granola bar
- A handful (40 – 50g) of raisins or other dried fruit
These foods should be accompanied by a drink of water!
Avoid the following (they are too concentrated in sugars and lack useful nutrients):
- Jelly cubes or jelly sweets
- ‘Energy’ tablets or glucose tablets
- Energy drinks
Re-hydrate: drink straight away (water or diluted juice)
Refuel: carb & protein snack within 30 min
- 500 ml milk, milk shake or flavoured milk
- One banana plus a handful of nuts
- 2 pots (2 x 150g) of fruit yoghurt
- One cereal bar plus 1 pot of fruit yoghurt
- Wholemeal sandwich or toast with peanut butter or cheese
Ideal food for all-day lunchboxes
- Fresh fruits e.g. Bananas, grapes, apples, plums, pears, berries etc.
- Dried fruits e.g. raisins, apricots, mango
- Crackers or rice cakes with bananas
- Mini-pancakes, fruit buns
- Cereal bars, fruit bars, sesame snaps, elevenses, fruit and fibre bars, nutri-grain bars.
- Yoghurt and yoghurt drinks (Low sugar)
- Small bags of unsalted nuts e.g. peanuts, cashews, almonds etc. Nature Valley Peanut protein bars are good
- Prepared vegetable nibble e.g. carrots, peppers, cucumber, celery etc.
- Low fat milkshakes
- Fruit smoothie made with milk/ yoghurt
- Milk – helps to replenish lactate lost in competitions.
- Greek yoghurt with fruit and/or granola
- Malt loaf (with natural butter is fine but not margarine)
Some ideas for a balanced lunchbox.
- Chicken and vegetable pasta with tomato sauce, Greek yoghurt, strawberries, cashew nuts, banana, and a fruit bun.
- Tuna and sweetcorn salad in a wholemeal baguette, milkshake, two clementines, unsalted mixed nuts, fig roll, carrot sticks and dip.
- Peanut butter and banana sandwiches on wholemeal, apple, raisins, yoghurt drink, chunk of cheese, small malt loaf.
We know that these are not all 100% practical – but notice that Haribo is not mentioned! Although a few of these (or jelly babies) in the run up before a race is not a bad thing!
Nutrition for Competition – BASIC 6 STEPS
- What we eat 1-2 days before the comp that counts
- Increase portion size slightly
- High carb meal the night before
- High carb breakfast
- Increase fluid
- Plenty of sleep (9-10 hours) for a couple of days in advance
Recovery advice – BASICS
The sooner after training/competition the better;
- Eat or drink – as soon as your body feels able to take food or drink.
- If you know it’s a while before tea, be prepared; milkshakes, sports drinks, cereal bars, fruit should all be in your Kit bags.