The do's and don'ts of eating before and after swimming

The do's and don'ts of eating before and after swimming

As with any form of exercise, what you put into your body is just as important when it comes to swimming. With an event such as the iconic aQuellé Midmar Mile, a proper eating plan is vital - because nobody wants to pick up an injury mid-swim.

eating before swimming

So, what should one eat before and after a race or general swim as a form of exercise? We have some tips right here:

Before the swim

Do…If you are competing in a race such as the aQuellé Midmar Mile, it is important to eat foods that release energy over time, rather than a pick-me-up just before the gun goes off. Carbohydrates like wholemeal rice and pasta, eaten an hour before the race, will give you the long-term energy required. Bananas and other fruits are also great to eat in conjunction with the carbohydrates.

Remember to stay hydrated and drink enough water before the race or swim. While you don't want to feel bloated mid-swim by taking on too much fluid beforehand, ensure that you take on fluids whenever possible.

For casual swimmers who will be in and out of the pool in about 20 minutes, fruits are perfectly adequate to keep you going. It is also advisable that you keep fluids poolside, as hydration is vital when performing an exercise such as swimming.

Don’t...Fatty foods are the worst possible thing you can eat before going swimming. They are a nightmare for your system to digest, and they are likely to cause severe discomfort mid-swim. So stick to the rice, pasta, and bananas - you will thank us later.

After the swim

Do…Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Take on fluids such as water and recovery drinks. Your body needs you to do this.

When it comes to eating after the race or swim, it is advisable to snack before eating your next big meal. You may be tempted to reward yourself with something hearty straight after the achievement of completing the aQuellé Midmar Mile, but before you do so snack on nuts, a protein bar, and fruit. These foods will aid your recovery.

For those who are using swimming as a way to lose weight, things like fish and lean meats are the way to go, while a combination of fruit and low-fat yoghurt can be your treat.

Enjoy the swim!

NB: Always consult your doctor before taking on a new exercise routine and eating plan.

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