What, When and Why
Sports nutrition is a complex and hotly debated subject. Unlike resistance training and stretching, everyone eats, making a proper diet mandatory for success. At every Olympics the same countries are at the top, don't be fooled and believe it is secondary to talent. There is no coincidence the top countries have the top services to provide the athletes. One of these services is a nutritionist to individualize and specialize diets.
- 30-40 grams of a slow digesting carbohydrate like whole-wheat bread, yams, wild rice, beans, red potatoes and/or fruits to give long-lasting energy for the competition.
- 30-50 grams of a lean protein like chicken breast or fish. Basically, a protein that’s low in saturated fats.
- 20-30 grams of a fibrous carbohydrate source like a salad to increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles.
- 100-400 mg of Caffeine. Can be from coffee or supplement (not recommended for pubescent athletes). Don't consume more than 500 mg (5 cups of coffee) within one hour, would result in a positive drug test.
- 30-40 grams of a fast digesting protein like whey isolate supplement. Take this meal as a shake (Protein shake) and not an actual whole food meal because a whole food meal won’t get digested and utilized fast enough.
- 20-40 grams of a slow digesting carbohydrate like an Apple (low to medium Glycemic Index (GI)).
- Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAA's). Most BCAA's contain glutamine and citrulline malate which makes Arginine, so get a three in one (not recommended for pubescent or prepubescent athletes).
- 2- 5 grams of Glutamine to improve strength gains (not recommended for pubescent or prepubescent athletes).
- 5 grams of pure Creatine Monohydrate especially for swimmers to improve bone mineral density (not recommended for pubescent athletes).
- 2-5 grams of Arginine these non-essential amino acids are shown to increase blood flow to muscle fibers by increasing levels of nitric oxide. (Not recommended for pubescent athletes).
- A 2-5 gram of Beta Alanine (BA) to boost the intensity of the workout. (Not recommended for pubescent athletes).
- High carbohydrate (moderate to high GI) for exercise longer than one-hour snack low in fat is beneficial like a carbohydrate gel pack.
- 60-80 grams of moderate to high glycemic index carbohydrate, like a fast acting recovery aide. This will rapidly replenish the glycogen stores in the body.
- 40-50 grams of protein, like a whey isolate supplement.
- 30-50 grams of moderate to high glycemic index carbohydrate, not in supplement form.
- 40 grams of lean protein like chicken breast or fish. Basically, a protein that’s low in saturated fats.
These guidelines are simple but are the nuts and bolts to peri-workout nutrition. There is plenty more stuff, but if you perform all these tips you're doing better than 99% of the athlete's you're competing against in nutrition! This improvement results in stronger, faster, healthier swimmers!