Competition Diet Advice
When preparing to compete at a swimming competition you need to pay careful attention to what you eat. Read on to find out what to eat the day before the event and during the day.
THE DAY BEFORE
When competition time comes round, you’ll have plenty on your mind already. So the day before the event, keep exercise to a minimum – if anything at all – and eat meals and snacks high in complex carbohydrates. You need to keep those glycogen stores topped up.
- Drink fluids little and often to stay properly hydrated.
- Eat little and often – every two to four hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady and fuel your muscles in preparation for your event.
- Avoid big meals or over-eating in the evening – this will almost certainly make you feel uncomfortable and lethargic the next day.
- Try to stick to familiar foods. Curries, spicy foods, baked beans and pulses (unless you are used to eating them) can cause gas and bloating, so avoid eating anything that may cause stomach discomfort the next day. It’s best to stick to foods that you are familiar and compatible with!
SNACKS BETWEEN HEATS
- Don’t swim on empty. Even if you feel nervous, make breakfast happen. Stick to easily digested foods – cereal with milk, porridge, banana with yoghurt, some fruit or toast with jam.
- If you’re really struggling, try liquid meals such as milkshakes, yoghurt drinks or a smoothie.
- It’s a good idea to rehearse your competition meal routine in training so you know exactly what agrees with you.
- Try to eat as soon as possible after your swim to give yourself as long as possible to recover if you have to swim again.
- High fat and simple sugar foods will do you no favours in competition – instead search out the complex carbohydrates again.
- If you can’t stomach anything solid try sports drinks, flavoured milk or diluted juice that will help replenish your energy supplies and assist the recovery of aching muscles.
The list below offers great food options to be snacking on in and around training for a competition. Remember to keep eating healthy foods from your regular diet though, such as fresh vegetables, nuts and fruits.
Here are some more you can try:
- Water, diluted fruit juice with a pinch of salt or a sports drink
- Pasta salad
- Plain sandwiches e.g. chicken, tuna, cheese with salad, banana, peanut butter
- Bananas, grapes, apples, plums, pears
- Dried fruit e.g. raisins, apricots, mango
- Crackers and rice cakes with bananas and/or honey
- Mini-pancakes, fruit buns
- Cereal bars, fruit bars, sesame snaps
- Yoghurt and yoghurt drinks
- Small bags of unsalted nuts e.g. peanuts, cashews, almonds
- Prepared vegetable bites e.g. carrots, peppers, cucumber and celery
This is very important. During a one hour training session a great deal of fluid can be lost from the body. To compensate for this, 1 litre of fluid per training hour should be available to the swimmer. Drinking prior to a training session is vital. During a competition the swimmer should be careful not to dehydrate.
Swimming pool surrounds are notorious for being hot and sometimes unbearably so. During the day, drink should be taken little and often. Headaches, dizziness and nausea are some of the symptoms of the onset of dehydration.
WHENEVER YOU ARE DOING PHYSICAL EXERCISE HAVE YOUR DRINKS BOTTLE CLOSE AT HAND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A RESERVE SUPPLY IN YOUR BAG
Water is the best fluid to drink – NO fizzy drinks or high sugar sports drinks are allowed during training sessions unless recommended by a doctor.
- 19 Oct 2023Fundraising sale
Details of our annual fundraising sale
- 27 Jan 2023Northamptonshire County Championships
78 WASC swimmers due to dive in to Corby pool over the next month
- 24 Sep 2022Autumn Development Evening
Sat 24th September 2022
- 13 Sep 2022Temporary Changes to Training Times
Friday 16th - Monday 19th September
- 05 Aug 2022Imogen Dodds in action in Sheffield
Support her by watching live!