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Calories and nutritious diet for swimmers

What is the type of nutrition should a swimmer take?
(November 8, 2010)

Diet for Swimmers

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise since it combines the benefits of a cardiovascular workout with natural resistance training. Depending on your lifestyle, you may take a few lazy laps around the pool or jump into a lively ocean. In all cases, you will need controlled, disciplined breathing and enough muscle power to tackle the water resistance. Swimming burns up a lot of calories, making it important to have a special diet for swimmers.

If you are a serious swimmer, you need to make sure your body has enough energy to tackle all those laps.

We are used to calculating all our food energy in calories and this information is easily available for different foods and food products. However, you should also make yourself an expert on nutrition before feeding swimmers. For example, a beer may have lots of energy (calories), but has zero nutrition. For a serious swimmer, these ‘empty calories’ have no value. The reason is that swimming places certain demands on the body, which requires unique nutrition for swimmers.

Protein is usually present in any meal plan for swimmers. This is essential to help your muscles recover from the strain of swimming. Protein also aids in the process of strengthening your muscles and adding muscle mass. The best swimmers know that a high muscle-to-fat ratio is the key to speed and agility in the water. This means that a diet for swimmers should include a rich protein source, while minimizing fat content. Lean meat or fish are good options for feeding swimmers a protein rich diet, but you may want to grill or broil them to reduce overall fat content. If you are planning a vegetarian diet for swimmers, you have several options for natural proteins, including soya, cereals, pulses, seeds, and nuts.

Carbohydrates are also important in planning the right nutrition for swimmers. This is because carbohydrates are directly responsible for providing us with immediate energy. To begin with, the human body is designed to break down the complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. These sugars form the short-term “fuel” of the body and are used first in any physical activity. If an excess of energy is left over, it is converted to fat and stored in the body. Some people target weight loss by trying to force the body to use up this “fat energy” by avoiding carbohydrates. However, this has the opposite effect, since the body is tricked into “starvation mode” and begins storing all new calories as fat. This leads to reduced stamina and weaker muscles; strictly to be avoided by serious swimmers! A good meal plan for swimmers includes both simple and complex carbohydrates; the simple ones are needed for immediate energy while the complex ones deliver long-term stamina.

Finally, let’s not overlook water! Strange as it may seem, some swimmers have actually suffered from dehydration while surrounded by water. This can cause painful muscle cramps, which can be potentially fatal in the wrong circumstances. Dehydration also affects your vital internal organs and the ability of your body to carry oxygen-rich blood from your lungs. Your skin will also get dry and rough, making it more likely to get sunburn. A daily diet for swimmers must include ample of water, with increased amounts on swim days. You can also opt for a sports beverage with essential salts and amino acids. At home, you can create your own natural sports drink by simply mixing a spoon each of sugar and salt in a glass of water. Of course, if you plan to modify your diet you should consult your physician to ensure you’ve made the right choices.

Submitted by R B on November 8, 2010 at 04:59


For an active athlete like a swimmer, it is extremely important to concentrate on your diet. This is because swimming is the kind of exercise that burns maximum calories with seemingly little effort. However, the effort is quite great, even though you may not feel it while swimming, as the water has a tendency to render you weightless. You will always expend more effort than you think while swimming, and it is important for you to remember that simple fact.

For regular swimmers, a high protein intake is absolutely essential. This is because swimming is the kind of exercise which will build up muscles. And protein is required for healthy build up and development of muscles, as muscle mass is mostly determined by protein intake. You should increase your intake of meat, which is one of the richest sources of proteins. While it is always preferable to eat grilled meat, you can also eat it cooked in other ways such as fried or broiled. White meat such as fish, chicken and turkey are the richest sources of protein, and you should concentrate on these rather than red meat, which is relatively higher in fats.

Egg whites are another very good source of pure protein. For most part, it is advisable to avoid egg yolks for the health conscious. But for swimmers, it is perfectly fine to eat yolks as well. This is because the calorie burnout is so high that the extra calories and cholesterol that yolks contain will not really count or contribute to putting on weight on any way. But make it a point not to eat more than six whole eggs everyday. More than that would be too much, especially in addition to all other high calorie foods that you would normally eat.

It is essential to have a high water intake for swimmers. So make sure you get in at least 10 liters of fluid on a daily basis. This will help by not making your muscles cramp. Since muscle development is very quick and high for swimmers, this is a problem often faced by them. High water intake should take care of the problem very effectively. You should also snack on nuts, since they are rich in protein as well as the essential fats required by the body. Simple carbohydrates should also be taken generously. This would include unleavened and whole grain breads, vegetables like potatoes and fruits like bananas and mangoes

Submitted by M S on July 25, 2008 at 09:59


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