With the school swimming season underway, Australian Open Championships just around the corner and Australian Age Championships only three months away, Eat Smart Sports Dietitian and former Australian Swimmer Jessica Abbott give her tips for eating for swimming success.
Swimming is a seriously demanding sport (and not just for the athletes, the parents have it tough too!), with its intense training schedules, early starts and long days at meets, getting the nutrition basics right is essential for peak performance. Carbohydrate and protein are two of the key nutrients for swimmers of all levels. But why?
Well, carbohydrates are the most important fuel source for training and recovery. Without enough of them it leads to early fatigue (poor performance) during training and racing as well as poor concentration and poor recovery. I suggest fuelling up by including healthy carbohydrates regularly throughout the day. Good options include wholegrain breads, high fibre breakfast cereals, low fat milk and yoghurt, starchy vegetables like pumpkin and potato, and whole fresh fruits.
Protein is another essential in the diet - it is needed for growth, repair, recovery and immunity. A common myth is that swimmers need expensive protein supplements in order to gain muscle and strength. In fact, getting enough protein can be achieved by a well-planned diet alone. Excellent sources of protein are lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, low fat dairy, nuts and legumes.
For more expert dietary advice for swimmers, keep an eye out for new blogs or for individualised advice book an appointment with Jess at Chandler.