Performing at one’s highest potential at all swim meets is every swimmers goal. Fueling your body with the proper foods allows you to achieve your highest goals in the pool. Although, deciding to take in high energy foods is a long process that must be continued over a span of months. Proper nutrition begins with educating young swimmers to consume healthy products, day-in, and day out.

There is a wide variety of healthy food choices that a swimmer can enjoy before a swim meet or practice. Searching for the ideal food choice will vary from swimmer to swimmer, but will ultimately serve to enhance peak performance in the pool.

Every swimmer should be eating small snacks throughout the course of a swim meet, including bananas, power bars, apples, pretzels, and peanuts. This group of foods will continue to build a “power source” in your body that kicks in when facing exertion. Some may believe that consuming food during a swim meet will make them feel bloated or swim slow. This is not necessarily the case as long as you should be continuously drinking water throughout the meet, accelerating the digestion process.

The night before a meet, it is extremely important to have a meal encompassing protein and carbohydrates. Pasta is very common to consume before and after a meet due to its rich benefits in carbohydrates. The morning of a meet, one should eat a light breakfast that consists of carbohydrates, like a bagel or toast paired with fruit.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), foods that are high in antioxidants offer increased health benefits for swimmers. Increasing your strength and endurance begins with a diet featuring high antioxidants. Try incorporating the following foods into your current diet to establish a “power food plan”: beans, unsweetened dark chocolate, apples, prunes, pomegranate juice, artichokes, pears, pecans and walnuts, berries, and potatoes.

It is crucial to eat a well balanced and nutrient filled diet to strengthen your body for the exerting events when racing. Although some swimmers may believe that being fit allows one to eat whatever they want, this is not recommended. Forming a habit based on nutrition is proven to keep your body performing at its peak. Fueling your body with the right kinds of foods gives your body energy, as swimmers burn thousands of calories a day.

Imagine a car: you need to fuel the car with gas to keep it running efficiently and properly. Your body represents the car, and you need to consume the right foods to keep it going. Nutrition is one of the fundamentals in training and performing your best in the pool. Send us any recipes that you may have that will aid in achieving your swimming goals!

Written by Ashley Schrader