A healthy diet will help you train harder, perform better, recover faster, reduce your chances of illness and gain a competitive edge.
Fuel up: Eat a meal 2–3 hours before training (carb & protein & fat – low GI)
Hydrate properly: drink 200 - 300ml 2h before swimming
Suitable pre-training meals
Jacket potato with cheese, tuna or baked beans plus veg.
Pasta with tomato-based sauce or pesto; cheese, tuna or chicken; plus veg Rice with chicken, fish or beans plus veg.
One pot dish with pulses, veg, lean meat or fish PLUS potatoes or pasta Sandwich/ toast with tuna, cheese, chicken or peanut butter.
If you don’t have time for a meal (eg early morning training), have a snack 30 min before training with 200 – 300 ml water. You should NEVER train on empty!
Toast (wholegrain) with honey or jam
A banana (or other fresh fruit)
A handful of dried fruit (e.g. raisins, apricots)
A cereal bar
Porridge or wholegrain breakfast cereal with milk
Prevent dehydration: drink plenty
Refuel (if training hard for > 1 hour): carbs drink around 300 - 500 ml per hour
drink little and often, ideally every 15 – 20 minutes
If training for 1 hour: water or sugar free squash
If training 2 hours: diluted squash (1:6 or more) or diluted juice (half and half) or isotonic sports drinks (40 – 60g sugar per 1 litre)
Re-hydrate: drink straight away (water or diluted juice)
Refuel: carb & protein snack within 30 min
500 ml milk, milk shake or flavoured milk
One banana plus a handful of nuts
2 pots (2 x 150g) of fruit yoghurt
One cereal bar plus 1 pot of fruit yoghurt
Wholemeal sandwich or toast with peanut butter or cheese
For more information and easy healthy recipes:
Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes by Anita Bean, available from amazon or book shops www.anitabean.co.uk