Nutrition and eating right is a cornerstone of any serious swimmer's training plan. From staying properly hydrated to eating the right snacks, and everything in between, a well-balanced meal plan is what is going to make the difference between a good and great performance in the pool. Race day is no different from the rest of the season, but there's some foods to avoid on race day that you might otherwise might be able to enjoy every now and then.
- Avoid sausage, ham or bacon since the fat might cause indigestion and will slow you down.
- Don't eat sugary cereals. Too much sugar will give you a false spike of energy and these cereals are often missing nutritional elements that you need to power through your morning races.
- Stay away from fast food breakfast sandwiches, egg biscuit combos, and fat-laden croissants.
- If cooking at home, don't use too much margarine or butter for cooking. Try poaching your eggs or using olive oil.
- Avoid doughnuts, sweet rolls, or pastries. Have a piece of whole wheat toast with sliced fruit instead.
- Try to avoid the drive-thru. There aren't many options for healthy meals and these foods are likely to weigh you down at the race. Plan ahead and take a good lunch and healthy snacks.
- Stay away from fried foods like fish’n’chips, chicken fingers, and french fries.
- Don't overuse mayonnaise or salad dressings. This extra fat may upset your stomach.
- Fiber, although an important dietary component, can be a problem on race day. Fiber is a food element to which each swimmer has an individual tolerance. Don’t experiment with high fiber foods on race day; sort this out during your training and save the fiber for dinner at the end of the day.
- Avoid prepared lunch meats that have an extreme amount of salt and preservatives. These may lead to cramps or indigestion because of the high sodium amounts.
- Ditch the sodas and soft drinks. Stay hydrated with water, milk, or natural fruit juice.
- Don't experiment. If you don't normally eat spicy foods, don't try them on race day. Even with something as simple as a fruit snack. Stick with what your body knows and is comfortable with; this is not the day to try new things.
- In general, stay away from the concession stand. There aren't usually healthy options available.
- Don't snack on potato or tortilla chips. Too much fried and salty snacks will upset your stomach for the next race.
- Avoid energy drinks that have too much sugar. They'll give you a false sense of energy and you might crash mid-race, which is not what you want to happen. Instead, have a Nutriboost shake as a snack to help fuel up and recover properly.
Planning ahead for race day and what you'll eat to power through is one of the best things you can do to prepare for an awesome performance. Download our guide above and take a look at our blog for more nutrition articles for swimmers and stay healthy all season long!