If you are a swimmer you know well by now that an essential part of daily life should revolve around taking care of your body…this is how you should think about it…your body is like a vehicle, will it run without fuel?…but a swimmer is not just any car, professional swimmers are highly refined and sophisticated cars that only run on real high quality fuel…and yes the food you eat is the fuel you need…
I wanted to share with you what we consider the building blocks of a swimmer’s diet, they consist of 5 simple ground rules that will ensure you are always ready to take up the swimming challenges
A dehydrated body can never train or perform at its peak…whether it’s the steamy conditions of a heated pool or the gleaming sunshine, sweat losses do happen to swimmers, yet you might never feel it because your surrounded by water and you are all wet. What you need to know is that your muscles rely on water to operate efficiently; so try to keep some water bottles on the pool deck and make up for your losses during rest periods or between sets. Sports drink might also help if your training session is very long and if you are in a hot environment.
Never go to a training session with an empty gas tank, have a meal about 3-4 hrs before your session and a small snack 1-2 hrs before. Think whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Fatigue and poor performance can be the outcome of a bad recovery; you need to match the energy you eat with the intensity of your training. To maximize replenishment try to consume a meal within 30 to 60 minutes of completing a training session, whether it’s a sandwich, a milkshake, some cereals with yogurt…this time you need to go mainly for carbohydrates with some proteins.
How often do you worry about getting sick when you know you are training intensively? Have you ever heard of free radicals?! Your body’s enemy! These molecules cause oxidation and they build up during high intensity training, making prone to infections. To boost your immune system select food rich in antioxidants; in this field nothing is more powerful than fruits and vegetables, and it seems that the more colorful means the more powerful; so get creative and you name it… oranges, kiwis, carrots, broccoli, berries…
Women this one is for you! if you train intensively and you don’t supply your body with enough iron you might create an imbalance; and girls if you are trying to lose weight and training then you are even more at risk. Remember check your iron status regularly if you know that you are training a lot and not eating enough. Most importantly try to get enough iron. The best sources are lean meats, especially red meats; but you can also go for fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, beans…keep in mind that to maximize absorption you should combine some vitamin C with the iron rich foods, so squeeze some lemon juice on your food, have a fresh salad with your meal, or a have a fruit or a fresh juice right after you meal.
More: A Healthy Lifestyleby