January 1, 2018
It’s How Much You Eat and What You Eat
Growing up as a swimmer, I would leave the pool starving! On the way home, my mom would take me through the Arby’s or Sonic drive-thru for a quick and easy meal, or I would sit in front of the TV with a “tv dinner”. It wasn’t until I went to college and my Estonian roommate (who went on to set the SEC record in the 100 breaststroke) said to me “ You wouldn’t put cheap gas in a Ferrari. Your body is more valuable than a racecar, you need to fuel it with valuable nutrients,” that I started thinking seriously about nutrition. Come to find out, it made a world of difference in my energy levels and my ability to train. I went on to qualify for trials that season and swim under the LSU school record in the 100 breast. That made me rea lize just how big of a role nutrition plays in being a “24 hour athlete”.
So as you’re hustling from one workout to the next, how do you make changes to your diet and still balance all of your activities? You plan ahead and try to choose the “best” foods available.
We have 3 main goals for athlete nutrition:
1. Eat the right amount, not too little, and not too much of foods that don’t provide good fuel. (Did you know you can burn 1000 calories in a single swim practice! The average swimmer burns roughly 250 calories/1000 yards accordin g to livestrong.com)
2. Eat foods that are going to support intense
3. Ba lance your plate with the right amount of each food group.
This is my favorite website for sports nutrition:
The meal plans and resources are engineered toward athletes and
made by experienced dieticians. As you can see in the image from
their site, on a moderate training day, athletes should divide
their plate into thirds and fill each third with vegetables, a
grain, and a protein. It gives suggestions on the
“best” choices for each group as well. The moderate
training plate aligns with the majority of our workouts for most
letes at CIA. Athletes going through a growth spurt, may want to
follow the Hard Day training plate. A registered Dietician or
Physician can give more guidance in this area. (All information in
this article is meant for educational purposes only, and is not a
prescribed nutrition regimen.) During taper, senior athletes might
want to switch to the Easy Training plate.
Head Age Group Coach CIA