|What your swimmer eats can impact his/her performance!|| |
Jan 17, 2010
What your swimmer eats can impact his/her performance!
Melinda Ridenhour, RD, LD, IBCLC
One of the most important things you can do for your swimmer is to assure he/she is fueling their tank with a nutritious snack before practice each day.
Your swimmer’s main fuel source should be carbohydrates. Unlike many who are following a low-carb diet, children should NOT be on such an eating plan. What kind of carbohydrate foods you choose to allow them to have is extremely important to how their engine will run.
Carbohydrate is the primary fuel source during tough workouts. The entire fuel burning process is never a case of “all or none”. The body is always using some combination of carbohydrate and fat, but the intensity dictates which fuel source will be the dominant one. When swimming is easiest, fat is the primary fuel source. When swimming is toughest, carbohydrate is the primary fuel source. The body likes to save protein for other things (building and repairing muscle tissue, hormones and red blood cells, and supporting the immune system). If you consider the typical Barracuda swim workout for your swimmer, it’s probably pretty safe to say that the primary fuel source for swimmers IS carbohydrate.
Good carbohydrates are high in fiber and nutrients and low in sugar and refined flours. Great swim snacks consist of any fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
All that said, this issue will address healthy snack choices for swimmers for pre-workouts.
Make it Dense
Nutrient dense foods provide a significant amount of nutrients compared to the calorie content. For example one cup of strawberries contains carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, and folate for about 150 calories. A can of soda would NOT be considered nutrient dense because it contains sugar, preservatives, and caffeine for about 160 calories. Soda and candy are never a good choice for pre-workouts or during swim meets!
Nutrient Dense Snack Ideas
Strawberries (made with fruit, yogurt,100% juice)
Banana Bread, jelly & milk
Raisins alone or mixed with cereal(trail mix) Graham Crackers & Milk Fig Newtons & Milk Chocolate milk
PB and crackers Ants on a Log (celery,PB,raisins)
Whole grain crackers Cheese and crackers
Power Bar Veggies and dip
Any fruit (fresh or prepackaged small containers)
Cereals make great swim snacks. Some of the best choices include: Raisin Bran, Smart Start, Quaker Toasted Oatmeal, Blueberry Morning, Basic Four, Honey Nut Shredded Wheat, Cheerios, Rice Crispies, Corn Flakes, & Total.
cereals: Fruit Loops, Cinnamon Toast
Crunch, Capital Crunch,