Ocean Swim Nutrition
Fueling an active body
All food can provide fuel for day to day activity, work and exercise. But what food will help you perform at your best for all of these things? Food has a powerful impact on the way you feel, your energy levels and motivation. Meals don’t have to include lots of extreme ingredients or super foods it just a matter of getting the right combination of food to provide the body what it needs when it need it. So what are the best foods to fuel the body over an active day?
Within 30 min after morning exercise or waking up, start the day with either a bowl of cereal and low fat milk; a low fat smoothie with fruit; or a piece of toast with a protein source such as an egg or low fat cheese to fuel the body for the day’s activities.
Without eating breakfast your metabolism slows down to conserve fuel which means accessing energy can be a slow and inefficient process and may lead to lethargy during the day or a reduction in muscle mass, especially if training at high intensities.
Each meal can have an impact on how you will feel later in the day. If you have a poor choice for snacks or at breakfast or lunch chances are you will be either falling asleep or making a b-line for the biscuit jar at about 3:30pm. Eating as soon as possible after exercise is also important to reduce cravings later in the day, and to help with muscle recovery.
Snacks at morning and afternoon tea can be included between meals; rather than picking or grazing for the whole time prepare a snack which is suitable. These snacks and post training snacks should try to include both protein and carbohydrate as this can fill you up more than a sugary snack which offers little more than instant energy that quickly fades making you look for the next meal. Good choices would be some grainy crackers and low fat cheese; a tub of low fat yoghurt; or a piece of fruit and a small handful of nuts.
Lunch and Dinner
A balanced lunch and dinner should again have a protein and carbohydrate source along with additional salads and/or vegetables to meet your nutrient requirements for the day. Salad on its own is not enough and can just make you hungry. Skipping carbs can also increase afternoon sweet cravings or have you picking at night; so include a serve of nutritious carbohydrates like grain bread or potato to make a balanced meal and avoid the sweets later instead.
Eating on the day of competition
A daily diet plan for competition day will be based around when you are starting and determining eating times around that time.
Before the Swim
How to plan the day when the swim starts at 9.30am
Note. Portions will vary depending on the size and gender of the athlete.
This information is a generalized consideration for healthy active individuals. Food choices and meal plans may change for individual cases and to take into consideration personal goals and dietary requirements. For more information specific to your needs it is best to speak with a dietitian.
If you would like some more information on the best eating plan to suit your training, or for some good habits for a healthy lifestyle come and see me, Sally Walker for an individualised assessment at NuActive Health in Miranda. All Bondi to Bronte participants will receive a 10% discount.
Sally Walker is an accredited practicing dietitian, sports dietitian and exercise physiologist. She is currently the dietitian at the NSW Institute of sport where she helps some of the state’s top athletes get the right fuel for recovery and to perform at their best. Sally has also worked with various sporting teams including the St George Illawarra Dragons. Sally is available to see individual clients for advice on sport nutrition or living a healthy lifestyle at NuActive Health in Miranda on a Thursday and Friday.
Contact 02 9525 0255 for more information.