Swim Safety and Competition tips and links:




  • Carbohydrates– found in sugars, starches, fiber (provides ENERGY)
  • Protein – found in meats, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, milk, yogurt, cheese (BUILDS AND REPAIRS TISSUE)
  • Fats– found in meats, eggs, milk, cheese (help STORE ENERGY)
  • Vitamins –  found in fruits, meats, vegetables, starches, juices, nutritional supplements< > – found in fluids, sports drinks, and most foods like fruit and vegetables
  • Simple (bad) carbohydrates are found in foods like candy and cookies, sports drinks, some juices and soda.  These carbohydrates contain hight amounts of sugar and some contain high amounts of fat.  

  • Complex (good) carbohydrates are found in foods like whole grains, potatoes and other vegetables.


    Proteins are found in every human cell and help form skin, muscles, and bones.

  • Foods from animals (meat, fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and milk) provide the most protein.

  • Protein is also found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.


    Fat provides the body with the most energy.  Because fat has the highest amount of calories or energy, eating too much fat can result in weight gain and heart disease.  What are examples of good and bad fat?

  • Good fats are found in fish, olive oil, avocados, and nuts.

  • Bad fats are found in fried foods and some animal meats.

  • Pre and Post event meals

  • The timing at which you eat meals can not only prevent hunger, but also affect your athletic performance.

  • The purpose of the pre-event meal is to provide fuel for your workout. You want to focus on carbohydrate foods that are easily digested.  Foods like bagels, bread, granola bars, cereal, pasta, fruits, vegetables, etc are ideal

  • The purpose of the post-event meal is to replenish the energy your body used during your workout.


    Recovery tips to take with you

  • Plan snacks ahead of time. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat snacks in your swim bag or locker, such as whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese, fruit, PB&J, granola bars, etc.

  • Begin recovery with a snack within 30-45 minutes after practice or competition followed by a meal within 2 hours.

  • Your post workout snack should include carbohydrate and protein in a 3:1 carb:protein ratio (3 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein).

  • Keep portion control in mind. Replace muscle fuel or carbohydrate utilized during practice.Liquid carbohydrate or simple carbs can be utilized during workout or right after to speed up absorption and recovery.

  • Provide protein to aid in repair of damaged muscle tissue and to stimulate development of new tissue.More is not better, so shoot for 20-40 grams of protein in your recovery snacks and meals.

Backpack, locker, glove box, travel bags, desk drawers

  • Trial mix (nuts, dried fruit, choc chips)

  • Wheat bread sandwiches or subs with lean meat/cheese

  • PB & J on whole wheat

  • Dry cereal & drinkable yogurt

  • String cheese & fresh fruit

  • Beef jerky & applesauce/ fruit cup

  • Nuts or sunflower seeds & granola bar

  • Bagel with sliced cheese

  • Yogurt-covered raisins or pretzels

  • Sports bars

  • Meal replacement shake

6 Steps to Being Well Hydrated

  1. Begin exercise well hydrated.Drink 16 oz. about 2 hours before practice and another 8-16 oz. about 15-20 minutes before practice.

  2. Weigh yourself before you get in the pool.

  3. During exercise

    • If <60 mins drink 6-12 oz. every 20 mins of water

    • If >60 mins drink 6-12 oz. every 20 mins of a 6-8% carb solution drink (i.e. Gatorade)

  4. Weigh yourself after to calculate sweat rate. For every pound you lose, drink 16-24 oz. of fluid.

  5. Drink water with every meal to ensure pale yellow colored urine to indicate you are hydrated (check out the hydration chart).

  6. After exercise, drink water with carbohydrate to speed up the recovery process.Thirst lags behind the body’s need.Prevent yourself from becoming thirsty because if you’re thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.

Sweat isn’t just water…

  • When you sweat, you lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride which are essential to muscle function and water balance

  • Water doesn’t contain these electrolytes

  • Fluid replacement beverages help replace what is lost

  • Only 3 things (carbs, pro, fat) give you energy, and Red Bull is not one of them!

  • So why does caffeine give you “energy”?

    • Your body naturally produces chemicals that make you tired

    • Caffeine blocks these chemicals from reaching the brain.

    • You feel energized, but once the caffeine is gone, the built up chemicals finally reach the brain…Crash!


      When should you use sports drinks?

  • When exercise is longer than 60 minutes

  • Water is fine for exercise, but use sports drinks when extra energy is required and if it is hot and humid

  • NOT needed when not physically active.Sports drinks should not be consumed while sitting on the couch watching TV!


    Recommendations to assist in planning for competition:

  • Be prepared!

  • Constant intake of energy

  • Carbohydrate is key.It is fast, available energy

  • If you don’t practice it, don’t do it during a meet

  • This may be a good time for “supplements” such as energy bars/gels, carbohydrate solutions, etc.

  • Choose foods that do not cause GI distress.High fat, high protein foods cause GI distress

  • Pack snacks and carry them throughout the trip with you wherever you go

  • Research the area you travel to ahead of time and determine food availability.Identify restaurants you know offer good options, grocery stores close to the hotel, and if it is possible to prepare food in your hotel

  • Create a timeline for consuming food and fluids throughout the day.This will help ensure you don’t overeat or skip meals, snacks, or hydrating opportunities.The timeline should be based on your race schedule and should be practiced prior to race day

  • When competing in multiple sessions, it is important that an athlete consume a post-race snack immediately to recover and prepare for what’s to come


Snacks to Pack:

  • Graham crackers
  • Dry cereal

  • String cheese

  • Cottage cheese

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Sports drinks


Quality Protein Snack Options for after practice:


Protein grams (g)

Peanut Butter (4 Tbsp.)

20 g

Nuts (1 cup)

30 g

String Cheese

10 g

2 eggs

20 g

Chocolate Milk (8 oz.)

25 g

Greek Yogurt (6 oz.)

15-20 g

Hummus (1/2 cup)

10 g

Cottage Cheese (1 cup)

30 g








Quality Carbohydrate Snack Options for after practice:


Carbohydrate grams (g)

Raisin Bran  (1 cup dry)

45 g

Bagel (whole)

40 g

English Muffin

25 g

Instant Oatmeal

30 g

Chocolate Milk (8 oz.)

25 g

Raisins (1/3 cup)

40 g


20-25 g

Gatorade (8 oz.)

10 g