5 Foods and Drinks That Prove Helpful for Workouts and Meets

chocolate-milk

5 Foods and Drinks That Prove Helpful for Workouts and Meets

By Shweta Krishnan, Swimming World Magazine Intern

Foods and drinks that fuel the mind and body are the recipe to success for a great workout. It seems like every day when swimmers are not in the pool, they are scouring their kitchen pantry for the next things to devour. For many, it might seem like the best option to solve their temporary hunger is to scarf down the first few snacks they spot. Without thinking of the long-term consequences, this approach can have a detrimental effect on the athletes’ overall performances.

For instance, foods with high amounts of sugar and highly caffeinated drinks are usually best to stay away from around practice time or during meets. It seems like many people expect a formal list of what can be eaten and what can’t in order to perform well. While there are no magical superfoods that can make people automatically drop times on race day, there are certain items that can help athletes find more energy and feel at the top of their game.

Bananas

Photo Courtesy: Flickr

This fruit is by far one of the most common snacks seen at swim meets. Bananas are great to have when there isn’t much time in between races, but you need some fuel. They provide tons of energy and don’t leave you feeling extremely full and/or lethargic. This fruit is full of fiber, which can provide your body with a steady amount of glucose to get through a workout. Best of all, it’s easy to find, portable and delicious.

Oatmeal

This food can be eaten at any time, whether it is before a morning workout or after a challenging practice. It has complex carbohydrates, meaning that it is slow to be released and provides a sustained source of energy. And there is the added bonus of being able to add any toppings you want to customize it the way you like. Toppings such as fruits and granola are common favorites, but you can use whatever makes you feel the best. Plus, if you are in a rush in the morning, there is always the option to make overnight oats (a personal favorite), which are just as beneficial and will still leave you with an enjoyable breakfast.

Chocolate Milk

Nothing is better than a glass of cold chocolate milk as a post workout treat. This drink provides carbs, protein, and electrolytes – everything needed to help the body recover after exercising. It gives a great benefit with less sodium and sugar along with the added bonus of calcium. And if you’re looking for a little more excitement in your drinks rather than just plain old milk, this is the perfect thing for you.

Bagels

A personal favorite, this snack can be great for a pre-workout meal or even during a quick break. It also has carbohydrates to provide energy going into an important day. Plus, the different varieties and various spreads leave you with many options to choose from to find which one suits you best.

Coconut Water

This drink probably seems very odd to many people. It is not super common, but it still has many added benefits. Like common sports drinks, it provides a great source of electrolytes, but without the unnecessary amounts of sugar. It has large amounts of potassium and magnesium to help your muscles recover and prevent cramps. Although it does have less sodium, it still can help after light workouts.

Whatever you decide to consume, don’t wait until the day of a big competition to start trying new things. The last thing anyone would want is to stand behind the blocks with a queasy stomach. It’s easy to get confused when you scan the pool deck and see one group of kids gobbling down power bars while others are snacking on trail mix and candy. But there’s no right or wrong food to take in. Find the snacks and drinks that are the best for you. The ones that provide you with important nutrients, help you recover, and most importantly, leave you feeling energized and ready to take on the next challenge.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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