Swimming programs in this day and age are absolutely beneficial for health reasons and also for athletes. For an individual to be an effective and competitive swimmer, nutritional factors must be put into consideration i.e. what to and what not to eat, when to eat and how. A swimmer (child or adult) needs energy for their muscles and a whole lot of nutrients for body and muscle repair.
Now, there are a couple of nutrition myths that simply won’t die in as far as swimming programs for kids and even adults are concerned. The fact is you can do just fine in your swimming program as long as your nutrition intake is sufficient and well balanced without necessarily following these myths and increase your performance as a swimmer.
Myth 1. Reduce your intake on Carbohydrates and increase your intake on fat. Too much protein intake is quite unhealthy since it contains more than twice the amount of energy compared to carbs. This means at the end of the day the swimmer will have consumed excessive calories and the body will just store the excess fat.
Myth 2. You just need water. Biologically, our bodies always demand for water when it needs it, that’s why we feel thirsty. However water is just meant for hydration. It does not add energy or repair muscles. Though adapting this for a swimmer is still okay i.e. water intake during and after swimming, it might also lower performance. Don’t fall for this! You need enough nutrient intake on top of water for excellent performance and for the repairing of broken tissues.
Myth 3. Dehydration will cause cramps. It is totally not good for the swimmer to allow the body for Dehydration. Drinking enough water is a must for health and excellent physical results. Since muscle cramps are quite spontaneous and unpredictable, lab tests and research have not yet fully proven the fact that dehydration is to blame. There are other causes which if avoided by the swimmer, muscle cramps can be a non-issue. Continuous intake of fruits and vegetables, regular stretching and adjusting training intensity are some of the necessary habits for the swimmer in order to reverse the effects of cramps.
Myth 4. Swimmers are allowed to eat anything, anytime and any amount. This is absolutely not true. First off, too much of anything is extremely dangerous. If I were a swimmer, I would rather quality than quantity. Since swimming is one of the most energy consuming sports, eating too much or too little is not right. Too much sugar, sweets, snacks and fries is generally unhealthy and more so for a swimmer. Always consider quality food is on your plate (with enough calories), the time to eat (e.g. eat your food 30 min before you begin the swimming program or competition) and last but not least, the right amount.
Myth 5. During a taper swimmers must reduce their food intake. I don’t think this is reasonable because the swimmer’s body still needs nutrients for body repair and energy especially during the taper, since it is trying to adapt to the swimming program.
What a swimmers need to understand is that, doing the right thing the right way is key to their success. Eat well and be consistent in your training will definitely make your body adapt to the program and results will be tremendous.
Gain more access to quality training by visiting the Zodiac Kids swimming programs of Canada. You will find programs area available for all ages to learn or enhance swimming techniques.