Getting right nutrition is the key for athletic success. The right meal and snack choices every day will significantly improve one’s overall performance in training and in competition as well. It makes it easy to train harder for longer, recover quicker between swim practices and, most importantly, race faster at swim meets. Plus, stay healthier throughout the season, which means fewer training days and competitions missed through sickness.
A pre-training meal or snack depends on how much time one has before the training begins, what foods are most suited and tolerable as per their personal preference. A meal or snack should always contain mainly carbohydrate to top up the muscle fuel which will allow one to push harder and get the most out of the training session.
The more time there is before training, the more protein can be included in the snack. Some good pre-training meals and snacks include:
2 hours before training: Toast and boiled eggs, or a sandwich with ham or chicken, or a baked potato with cheese and beans, or a rice bowl with lean meat and veggies.
1 hour before training: whole-grain cereal and milk, or granola and low-fat yogurt, or toast with a small amount of peanut butter and jelly or a homemade smoothie made with fruit and yogurt.
30 mins before practice as there isn’t much time to digest food, it is recommended to choose a light carbohydrate snack such as a banana, or a granola bar, or a bagel, or raisin bread.
Including a drink with the pre-training snack is a good idea so as to start practice once properly hydrated.
A good pre-training snack will not only increase the energy levels but will improve concentration and desire to work hard.