4 Ways Nutrition Can Better Your Swimming Career

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Photo Courtesy: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

By Tasija Karosas, Swimming World College Intern

Food is a glorious thing. It keeps our bodies alive, functioning, and happy. Taking on social and cultural roles, food plays a huge part in our society. We go out to dinner to catch up with friends. On holidays, we get excited for old family recipes. In our everyday lives, we share concern or excitement with what we are going to eat. As simple as it sounds, our lives revolve around food. Therefore, changing your diet is one of the most controllable things you can do to change in your life.

To improve your training, your performance, and your life, changing your nutrition can be a powerful tool. Below lists a few ways better nutrition can improve your swimming career.

1. Training


Photo Courtesy: Madison Carroll

When changing the way you eat, the first drastic change you may notice is in your training. By utilizing recovery and pre-practice fueling, you body will naturally have more energy to pull through and attack the harder training days. In response to proper fueling, your body is better equipped to overcome muscle fatigue.

2. Performance


Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Training and racing go hand in hand. Indirectly speaking, if your training improves, your racing should improve as well. If nutrition is an integral part of your training, the same amount of focus should be applied on race day. Nutrition should be part of race strategy. Proper fuel 30 minutes prior to your race acts as an extension to your warm-up while post-race recovery acts as warm-down. Staying fueled and hydrated can only improve chances of success.

3. Physical Strength


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Nutrition has a dramatic effect on your physical strength. You can be in the weight room lifting all the weight you can fit on the bar, or doing 100 push-ups every night, but if you are not eating the proper amount of protein and carbohydrates you body will not be able to restore and build the muscle you are trying to put on. Like race day, nutrition needs to be a fundamental part of you lifting and dry-land routine.

4. Mental Capability


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Excess sugar may make you happy during the time of consumption but the final results can have the opposite effect. Unfortunately, if high sugar and low nutrient foods are part of your daily food routine, this can often result in feeling down or gloomy. Nutrient dense foods give you energy and they also make you feel good! When eating whole and healthy, your body and mind work together to create energy and happiness. From the words of a wise coach: “Happy swimmers are fast swimmers!”

Good nutrition does not mean cutting out all desserts and processed sugars. It means consuming nutrient-dense foods and finding moderation and balance within your diet. Because food is a lifestyle, the steps to change how you eat can be intimidating. Taking one day at a time, and waking up every morning with a smile and intent to eat healthy will ease the transition. Use nutrition as your first step to better your swim career, but more importantly to increase your quality of life.

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