What to eat during swimming competitions: best nutritional practice

September 8, 2021

Swimmers expend a huge amount of energy during training, and even more so during competitions. It would seem that the solution to the problem is to consume a large amount of caloric food that could compensate for the energy expenditure. But not everything is so simple, as eating before swimming will surely turn into serious problems. That's why when choosing nutrition for a swimmer it is so important to find the golden mean, when the calories consumed will be useful and will not be harmful.

What to eat the day of a swim meet

 According to research, most professional swimmers burn up to five thousand calories on average during a few hours of training. This figure corresponds to a quarter of the total amount of energy expended during the day. This once again speaks of the importance of proper nutrition and the inadmissibility of irresponsible attitude to the recommendations of professional sports nutritionists.  

What to eat before swim practice in the morning

Before a morning workout in the pool, you can do without breakfast - it is usually tolerable because of the same blood sugar level as in the evening, especially if you had a heavy or late dinner the day before. See how you feel or take a blood sugar test in the morning to be sure. But working out on an empty stomach is not suitable for those who, due to their individual characteristics (diabetes, poor sleep or stress), have low blood sugar in the morning. Then eating before you swim is a must do thing. For such a breakfast, something with a low GI is suitable: oatmeal without sugar, pasta from durum wheat or buckwheat. With such carbohydrates, swimming will not be hard, provided you have eaten 40 minutes to an hour before the pool.

Interesting fact: training in the pool is not very energy-consuming for beginners. If you swim an average of 500 meters for 45 minutes, you burn 180-200 calories. Therefore, it is not justified to eat everything after training, it is better to eat with a small deficit in calories.

What to eat before a swim meet during the day

If training in the afternoon, you should eat 2 hours before it. At the same time, the food should be light. Completely exclude fried and fatty food - the body spends a significant amount of energy on digestion, which is needed for swimming.

Oatmeal, cereal with milk, yogurt, and fruit are perfect for eating before swimming. Choose small portions, there should be a slight feeling of hunger.

Best food to eat before swimming in the evening

Before the evening workout, you can just like in the morning, either eat nothing or make a light snack. It all depends on when lunch was. If at 1 pm, and swimming, for example, at 7 pm, then you need to raise the sugar level in a few hours and do not let it fall before training. Can you eat before you swim protein bars or sports gainers? Well, sports nutrition copes well with this task, you know. Don’t be afraid of protein. It is not "chemistry", but a highly concentrated micellar protein, which is suitable for both men and women. Protein is found both in ready-made products and in the form of powder, which can be added to different dishes and even desserts

What to eat before a swimming race

 Athletes prepare for competitions not only in the pool. But they also think over their diet in advance. It should contain only those products that the swimmer has already eaten and the body responds well to them. No new products in the diet of an athlete in swimming, unusual for the usual menu, should not be. If there is a need for a new diet, it is better to plan it in advance and test it.


Pay attention to what to eat day of swim meet as well as day by day. Try to maintain a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein, monitor your fat intake, reduce sugar and salt consumption, increase your water intake. However, if indulging in a slice of pizza during a Friday night gathering with friends brings more joy than harm, why deprive yourself of that? Strive to eat nutritiously most of the time, while still allowing yourself to embrace your human nature occasionally – it's a truly delightful experience!

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