Mom always told you not to eat before swimming, and in most cases, she was right. After a meal, you want to wait awhile before hitting the pool to avoid cramps and other stomach issues. However, you should never work out on an empty stomach, especially in the pool. This could cause you to feel faint, cramp up, or even drown. Today, we’ll discuss a few of the best foods to eat before a pool workout.
“Good” carbs are loosely defined as those that are low on the glycemic index (GI). In other words, they don’t immediately convert to sugar after you eat them. The carbs you eat will depend on what time you swim. If you usually swim one to two hours after breakfast or lunch, try a brown rice stir fry or spicy lentil casserole. Honey muesli is a good choice as well. If you go straight to the pool from bed, eat a banana or a large cereal bar (avoid high-fiber bars).
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are as good, if not better, for swimmers than the rest of us. Raspberries and strawberries are good choices, as are apples – especially with your morning cereal or yogurt. Bananas provide you with energy and potassium, which is important for longer swims. Potatoes or sweet potatoes will give you energy without a direct sugar conversion. For a new spin on this starch, try jerk sweet potatoes, but don’t over-spice if you have a sensitive stomach.
Protein sticks last longer than most carbs or fruits, so you won’t feel hungry or disoriented during your swim. Add nuts to your morning yogurt or granola – hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans are all popular. Prawns, curry, shrimp, or lean chicken are useful if you wait one to two hours before a long swim. If you like going for a swim after dinner, try smoked salmon or haddock. Low-fat string or cream cheese will add protein to a bagel or other carb-heavy meal, such as pasta.
Dairy can be tricky because it settles more firmly in your stomach, which can cause problems if you’re sensitive. If you’re lactose-intolerant, ask your doctor what dairy or pseudo-dairy products work best for you. Try low-fat yogurt instead of milk. Smoothies can pack several nutrients into one drink and are useful if you don’t have time for a full meal before swimming. Try banana-strawberry, mixed-berry, or mango.