By Jennifer McGarry (Dolfins Head Coach 1970-1996)

What a good diet can mean to the athlete

  • Less fatigue in competition
  • Better recovery from training
  • Less colds and viral infection
  • Faster recovery from illness and injuries
  • More up days than down
  • Positive psychological attitude
  • A good diet is not a substitute for training and hard work

Essential Nutrients

  • Carbohydrates (60% of total daily calories); examples: fruits, vegetables, breads, and grains. Fats (25% of total daily calories); examples: corn oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and animal fats.
  • Protein (15% of total daily calories); examples: chicken, fish, dried beans.
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Water

Good Nutrition Game Plan

  • Dairy Products: 4 servings (1200mg) (1 serving = 8 oz milk or yogurt, preferably low-fat or 1.5 oz of cheese). Best choices: lowfat milk, yogurt, and lowfat cheeses. Main nutrients: calcium, protein, and riboflavin.
  • Protein: 4-6 oz per day. Best choices: lean meat, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, and legumes. Main nutrients: protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc in dark meats.
  • Fats: sufficient fat will be present in a normal diet that includes milk, nuts, seeds and vegetable oil in salads and if you fall off the Nutrition Wagon—junk food/fast foods. Limit your fat intake to about 25 percent of your daily total calories.
  • Grains and Starches: 4 servings per day (1 serving = a small bowl of cereal, 1 slice of bread, or ½ cup of rice or pasta). Carbohydrates: the athlete's energy source. Best choices: cereal, wholesome bread, pasta, rice.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: 2 large (1cup = 1 serving). Some best choices: oranges, bananas, melon, broccoli, spinach, green peppers, and tomatoes. Main nutrients: Vitamins A and C, potassium, carbohydrates, and fiber.


Good nutrition habits should be followed all year long, not just during the summer swim season. Good nutrition is up to you! It is your body and your choice as to how to treat it. You are the only one that can decide how important good nutrition is, not your mother or your father - just you!

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