If you have any health-related problems which your or your doctor feels we should know about please tell us, you can be sure of confidentiality. We have children at the club who suffer from asthma and are on medication, it is a specific requirement that you let us know. Also if you are recovering from illness or are feeling unwell prior to training or competitions, tell us before entering the pool – this is for your own safety.
Depending on the distance you cover in your event, you may need quick energy or more sustained energy. Your training is usually very difficult and exhausting, so it is important that you fuel properly.
Tips: Try to have a snack an hour or so before training. This will help keep your energy levels high so you can train hard during practice.
Breakfast: Also, have breakfast every morning to ensure you are getting an appropriate amount of calories into your body.
For pre-competitive snacks and meals, choose primarily carbohydrates. A little fat and protein are fine, but high-fat meals do not digest quickly or easily and can leave you feeling sluggish. If you are eating a carbohydrate meal, allow three to five hours for a large meal to digest and two to three hours for a smaller meal to digest.
Females should consume two or three foods that each contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Males should consume four or five carbohydrate sources. Shorter events require fewer servings than longer-distance events. Eat foods that will digest easily. Nerves may make it more difficult to digest pre-competition meals. Try these foods before training before you try eating them prior to a competition.
Because swim meets are long, you should drink or eat some carbohydrates. You will perform better if you keep your energy level up. Any carbohydrate fluid-replacement drink will work. Depending on how much time you have between races, eating carbohydrates such as fruits, a bagel, crackers or granola bars, may be an option. Also, be sure your nerves are such that your stomach will be able to digest food. Try to eat within two hours after a competition – this will allow you to refuel your energy sources quickly.
Post-competition and practice:
To recover from training every day, you need to refuel your body. Eating high carbohydrate foods within two hours of training is the best refuelling tactic. Try to eat 0.3 to 0.5 grams of carbohydrates for each pound of your body weight. This will help keep you fuelled and ready to go on competition days.
Drink fluids regularly during training and competition (you are sweating even if you cannot feel it). During swimming it is more difficult to judge how much you are sweating, so just keep drinking. If you are dehydrated, your performance and co-ordination will decrease. Do not wait until you are thirsty to begin drinking. If you only drink when you are thirsty you will replace just 50 percent to 70 percent of your body’s needs. Avoid beverages containing caffeine as they may have a diuretic effect, which can lead to dehydration.
A frequent hazard of swimming is over training and glycogen depletion. If you are not recovering from training, have an increased heart rate and are fatigued, try to take a couple of rest days and ensure that you are eating properly. You may not be eating enough to allow your body to refuel properly from exercise.