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What to eat during swimming competitions: best nutritional practice

September 8, 2021

No one will argue about the necessity and importance of daily proper nutrition for an athlete. Eating before a swimming competition has a direct impact on the result.

What to eat before swim practice?

The night before the competition

Replenish glycogen reserves in the liver and muscles. Best food to eat before swimming is food that is rich in complex carbohydrates (for example, a large portion of pasta, rice, or potatoes).

Drink enough to avoid dehydration. Alcohol, carbonated drinks, black tea, red tea, green tea, oolong, and Pu-erh teas, coffee are not allowed.

Morning on the day of the competition

Many athletes wonder can they eat before they swim? Sure, but eat no later than 2 hours before the competition. Maintain glycogen reserves at a high level. What to eat before a swimming race? Porridge, muesli, bananas, rice, vegetables, whole grain bread.

Regularly drink water, isotonic sports drinks, juice diluted with water.

During the competition

  • If there is no time between swims

Consume carbohydrates from an isotonic drink to maintain energy and compensate for glycogen losses.

  • If there is an hour or more between the swims

Easily digestible carbohydrate-containing food for recharging with energy and compensating for the cost of glycogen (dried fruits, grapes, apple, granola bar) is a good idea. Avoid foods high in sugar and fat.

Make up for the loss of fluid.

After the competition

Eat a couple of fruits (bananas, apples, or oranges), a granola bar, bread with honey or jam.

To restore the loss of liquid immediately drink at least 500 ml of water, juice, or isotonic drink.

Incorrect nutrition

The first mistake: secret scheme

One of the frequent mistakes that negatively affect the preparation and the ability to start is the search and use of some original, innovative, or "champion" nutrition system, which should give an increase in strength, speed, or energy.

Most often, there are options for some cuts, exceptions, or a radical change in the principles of nutrition. If you want to try to change the nutrition system, then the best time for this will be the off-season. A sharp change in eating habits, even a month before the main goal, is likely to only lead to worse results.

The second mistake: I have not eaten it before!

A large number of races are held far from the athletes ' place of residence, and to go to some other country, combining competitions and vacations, is the dream of the absolute majority. Arriving at the place, many people begin to try local food or even switch to national dishes. The more exotic the country is and the more its cuisine differs from the usual one for our digestive tract, the more likely it is that you will meet the starting signal in a completely different place. 

Eating before swimming is one of the parts of success!


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