What to eat

Diet Basics

According to the World's Healthiest Foods website, competitive athletes, such as swimmers, need more calories than recreational athletes. On average, female swimmers may need 4,000 calories daily, while males may require 6,000 calories daily or more. Ideally, their diets should be high in carbohydrates, provide an adequate amount of protein for building and maintaining muscles and be low in fat.


Carbohydrates should be the foundation of a competitive swimmer's diet, although carbohydrate "loading" is usually unnecessary, according to Fitness.gov. The amount of carbohydrates, in grams, varies according to calorie level. For example, a swimmer on a 5,000-calorie diet may need nearly 800 grams daily, which is about 65 percent of total calories from carbohydrates. 
Food sources of carbohydrates include simple sugars, such as fructose, the form of sugar found in juices and fruits; milk sugar, or lactose, found in dairy products; sucrose or table sugar; as well as complex carbohydrate foods, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables. All sugars, such as fructose and sucrose, are digested and converted to glucose by the liver.


The building blocks of proteins are amino acids. Amino acids are broken down for energy for muscles when glycogen stores get too low during exercise. At this time the body breaks down a bit of muscle as well as some fat. Thus protein is necessary for rebuilding tissues. According to the ESPN website, the daily protein requirement for a competitive athlete, such as a swimmer, is 1.2 to 1.4 g per kilogram of body weight. Good protein food sources include whey powder, chicken, meat and fish, eggs, soy products, milk and other dairy products.


Competitive swimmers should consume plenty of fluids, particularly water or electrolyte-enhanced beverages. According to Dena McDowell, M.S.R.D., "Along with a proper diet and training, hydration provides an edge to becoming a winning athlete." Glucose and electrolyte-enhanced beverages replenish glycogen stores in the muscles and liver and provide much-needed hydration. Athletes should begin a competition hydrated and drink chilled liquids frequently throughout an event as they are absorbed faster than room-temperature fluids and help to lower body temperature.

Pre- and Post-Competition Meals

Pre-competition meal recommendations are similar for all athletes, regardless of age, gender or sport. A pre-competition meal should be eaten three to four hours before the event and consist of mostly carbohydrate-rich foods. This meal may provide 500 to 1,000 calories. Thirty minutes following the competition is the best time to replenish depleted glycogen stores by eating a smaller meal, composed of some carbohydrates, proteins and fats

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/185478-competitive-swimmers-diet/#ixzz1R3oNFuKG

INFO ON www.livestrong.com

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to www.yola.com and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola