Swimmer's Nutrition

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Good Guidelines of Nutrition for Fitness

We all know that nutrition can influence performance at every level, from getting on with everyday tasks to supporting the demands of a regular and possibly highly demanding training schedule. Here are some excellent rules of basis nutrition for fitness that should be followed by everyone that will help to improve performances at training and in competition.
1. Exercise and Nutrition go hand in hand

The first step is to recognise that what you eat has a huge impact on the results you obtain from your training programme. Whatever your goals, the right food choices can make a bid difference to performance and results. Your diet will significantly affect your energy levels and enthusiasm for exercise and daily life. You would be wasting time, effort and money if you try a follow our training programme accompanied by poor eating habits. Finding a healthy balance and practical ways of staying fit and healthy in your life is the most important aim.

2. The diet should be well-balanced

The main dietary requirement is a well-balanced, nutritionally complete diet that will meet the additional energy, nutrients and fluid demands imposed by training. A healthy, balanced diet will allow you to exercise hard, to recover well and to maintain individual goals.

3. Active people need to stay well hydrated

In general, we need about 2 to 3 litres of fluid a day to be properly hydrated – about half of which normally comes from food and half comes from drinks. However exercise increases our fluid needs.

4. Carbohydrates are an important nutrient for fitness

Whatever we’re doing, our bodies require energy. But when we exercise, we need to be able to draw on more of it – faster. Glucose is the preferred energy fuel for the muscles, especially as exercise intensity increases. This is formed from the breakdown of carbohydrates (starches and sugars) in your diet and is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. However, the body can only store a limited amount of glycogen, so to keep it topped up you will need to eat a carbohydrate rich diet.
Symptoms of fatigue caused by insufficient carbohydrate intake include poor energy levels in training, muscle heaviness, a feeling of greater effort without the expected outcome and general tiredness.
The diet should supply around 60% energy from carbohydrate, or 5 – 10g carbohydrates per kg of body weight, depending on exercise frequency and intensity.

To calculate daily Carbohydrate Requirements

Training Level Grams carbohydrate per kg body weight
Regular Levels of activity (3–5 hrs/week) 4 – 5
Moderate Duration – Low intensity training (1-2hrs/day) 5 – 7
Moderate to Heavy –Endurance Training 7 – 10

Swimmer weighing 65kg who exercises for around an hour a day should aim for 5grams carbs per kg body weight.
65 x 5 = 325g daily carbohydrate intake
Carbohydrate content of every day foods
Medium portion of food Carbohydrate (grams)
Baked potato, pasta or rice 60
Bagel, flapjack or slice of fruit cake 40
Large banana or 50g raisins 35
2 slices bread, 2 crumpets or 1 bread roll 30
Muesli, cornflakes, 2 Weetabix or cereal bars 30
50g chocolate, 10 jelly beans or 3 Jaffa cakes 30
500ml sports drink or squash 30
Baked beans (135g) or sweet corn (100g) 20
200ml orange or apple juice 20
Apple, pear, orange or 2 kiwi fruits 15
2 tsp honey or jam or 150g low-fat yoghurt 15

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