Updated: Feb 20
Do you ever feel tired, have muscle fatigue or just can’t seem stay alert during training? The next question is, did you eat before your training? As an athlete, beginner or elite, nutrition for your training is just as important as your swim.
Not eating before your swim is like driving your car on an empty tank. You will find yourself feeling tired and losing focus during the training. Whether you have training first thing in the morning or after work, eat something before you start training.
Of course, it is ideal to eat 1-3 hours before your training but if you don't have that amount of time to spare, you should at least snack 15-30 minutes before your training. Fret not, here are some tips to what you can eat before your training.
What to eat 1-3 hours before your swim?
Eat something high in complex carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and low amount of fats.
This is because complex carbohydrates provide a slow release of energy throughout your training. Foods high in fats and protein take a longer time to digest which can cause stomach upset, indigestion and bloating or cramps.
Whole grain pasta Lean meat / chicken / egg sandwich Whole wheat toast with nut butter and fruits Whole grain cereal with low fat milk Brown rice with vegetables Oatmeal with fresh fruits
Don't have time to eat?
If you are swimming early in the morning without a chance to eat an hour or two before, have a snack to give you a quick boost of energy that can help you last throughout your training. Take something that is easily digestible and light. Examples:
Bananas or other fruits Dates or dried fruits Energy bar / cereal bar Fruit juice
This is just a generic guide for the majority. This does not apply to those who are undergoing specific diets like the ketogenic diet, Adkins diet, etc.
You should experiment and find out what foods work best for your individual preference, digestion and how much time you have before your training.
By: MySwim Passionate Coach Wing Yee, who has a Bachelors degree in Food Science with Nutrition, and is currently pursuing her Masters. Next week: What to eat AFTER your training