I think the first thing to know is that every child will burn somewhere between 500 to 800 calories in a one hour training session with CSA. Hence many will feel hungry after swimming and diet is an important element to consider when they are screaming out for food both before and after swimming. I would like to start by saying it is very important to feed your child or children 90-120 minutes before swimming begins. This will allow the body to digest and stop children feeling poorly in the pool as well as energising the body.
What makes a healthy training diet?
The simple answer which you will all have heard before is regular and varied meals that are high in carbohydrates, relatively low in fat and well balanced with protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately to attain this you really need to cook from scratch!!! This will then allow you to know exactly what is in the meal.
Taking this opening paragraph in mind and knowing this probably has not helped you at all I have decided to try and give you a few basic rules and a few quick recipes to put you all on the right track.
Five basic rules for happy training:
- Eat a balanced diet and eat when you are hungry. Limit snacks as much as possible to pita bread, hummus, oatcakes with peanut butter, nuts and seeds, fresh or dried or canned fruit, a few squares of dark chocolate, cereal bars or malt loaf. Yes Seawolf’s you can have the occasional pack of crisps just not every day.
- Keep hydrated all day. If you become thirsty you are already dehydrated and have lost 2% of stored water in your body. It is crucial you keep a bottle of water with you during the day and sip on it.
- Do not train on empty. Aim to eat something that is low in fat, high in carbohydrate, easy to digest.
- Speed up your recovery-eat/drink to refuel within 15 minutes of work out. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Glycogen levels are depleted during training and the quicker they are replaced the better you will feel quicker. You need water, electrolytes to replace lost fluid, and protein to repair muscles. Flap jacks, melon or toast with peanut butter are great and easy after training snack
- Eat well on your rest day. For CSA swimmers this is the day after your training session.
Carbohydrates are critical for optimum for performance for any sport. All muscles depend on carbohydrates at their main source of fuel for exercise. Carbohydrates once digested are stored or used as blood glucose for energy and are stored in the liver and muscles. Simple so far! However we need the right carbohydrate at the right time. There are two types Hi GI and low GI which indicate the speed in which they release sugars into the blood stream.
Bring water bottles for the training sessions.
Ensure your swimmers eat at least 2 hours before the session.