The food we eat is neither more nor less, the source of energy that our muscles have to carry out their functions. What can you advise a swimmer to achieve good performance? Nutrition of Professional Swimmers.
It is known that food is the fuel that makes the engine of the human body run. In the case of sports, and especially in high competition, it becomes an even more important aspect. Let’s learn together with a champion how a good swimmer should eat.
In addition to providing the energy necessary for the body to carry out the activities we order, the food we eat daily has many other functions. For example, it can make our metabolism more or less efficient and our muscles load with fat or, what is more convenient, have a more balanced composition.
Depending on their needs, each athlete chooses a suitable diet that allows them to meet the demands of their body to perform in their activity. Thus, for example, the diet of an athlete will not be the same as that of a rugby player.
In the case of swimming, this applies in the same way. In this eighth meeting with the American swimmer and lifeguarding class manager DJ Fisher, we will learn everything about the diet that an athlete must take to enhance their performance and achieve better results.
Nutrition of a swimmer
First of all, it should be noted that the diet of a swimmer must follow the principles that are recommended for the rest of the people. This is including natural, healthy, and varied foods, eating 5 or 6 meals a day, and maintaining good hydration.
However, we must also, as athletes, know certain concepts and the function of each nutrient in our bodies. In this way, we can administer them judiciously and incorporate a sufficient amount into our daily diet.
What nutrients can not be missing?
The essential nutrients that a swimmer must ingest are: (Increase Nutrition of Professional Swimmers)
Carbohydrates: constitute the main source of energy. Between 5 and 7 grams per kilo of bodyweight should be consumed; in times of intensive training, this amount can rise to 7-10 grams per kilo.
Protein: it is obtained by consuming lean meats, dairy, eggs, and legumes. The general recommendation is to consume between 10 and 20 grams per day.
Vitamins and minerals: present mainly in fruits and vegetables, it is recommended to maintain their levels in normal proportions for any individual.
Fats: ‘good’ fats are also an important source of energy, provided they are administered in moderation. We can find it in oily fish, olive oil, and nuts, among others.
Supplements: Beyond the food they eat, an athlete can obtain extra ‘resources’ thanks to the intake of what is called sports supplements. These are the ones that swimmers incorporate most often:
Sports drinks: They hydrate, contain salts and electrolytes, and provide a minimal dose of caffeine — at least most —; This is a substance that, in minimal doses, helps by providing energy.
Energy gels: They are highly recommended to consume during training and competition since they provide carbohydrates that are absorbed very quickly.
Energy bars: They contain several nutrients and are suitable to consume before training or competing, or also after doing it.
Other supplements: This includes vitamin supplements, which must be prescribed by a doctor without exception, and recuperators; as their name implies, they help the body to recover after physical demands.
Previously, we referred to the importance of hydration. It is clear that the fact that the swimmer stays hydrated by being in a pool is a great fallacy; in fact, drinking water is vital to maintaining your health before, during, and after each workout.
Swimming is a high endurance sport; As such, their workouts are often long and demanding. That is why maintaining a good energy supply becomes one of the foundations of food. This is even more potent in children and adolescents, who are in a growth stage that accentuates these needs.
Ultimately, it is important to make a responsible food intake before training, and also before a competition. In this sense, skimmed dairy, fruits, cereals, and fat-free foods are the best alternatives to store energy.
If it is a long day, likewise, the swimmer can take advantage of the intervals to nourish himself. At this time, sports drinks, water, fruits, and some light dairy can help meet the requirement. Some good sources of carbs are rice, cereal, pasta, potatoes, beans, peas, and lentils is helpful as a Nutrition of Professional Swimmers
All that we discuss here are general guidelines, which may vary — though not too much — from one individual to another. Mireia Belmonte, who has been in first-class international swimming for years, will be able to guide us on the path of proper nutrition to reach the peak of our performance.