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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Eat Well - Train - Compete

Drink – Drink – Drink

  • Drink 2 cups of water or diluted squash 2 hours before training
  • Bring a water bottle to training and competition filled with water or VERY dilute squash – think of it as being part of your gear, you wouldn’t come without trunks or a swimsuit
  • During the session DRINK the contents of your water bottle. Drink after each set in the session. If you are given 100m Frontcrawl to swim don’t stop after 50m for a drink finish the 100m and drink in the rest time


Sleep is important because it is the time when you grow and recovery from daily activity takes place. Get a good nights sleep before a competition to enable you to swim fast

Eat Well

Your day should start with BREAKFAST

Eat a high carbohydrate breakfast accompanied by some fruit or fruit juice and maybe even a yogurt. Remember to have a drink

Mid Morning

Cereal bar and a drink, avoid fizzy drinks


If you eat school lunch select the healthy option such as pasta, rice or baked potato plus some fruit and a drink

If you have a packed lunch eat all your sandwiches plus some fruit and a drink

Mid Afternoon

Banana or cereal bar plus a drink

Home from School

Home by 4.00pm. Training at 6.30 don’t eat after 5.30. Have a light meal or snack plus a drink

During Training/Time Trials

Drink the contents of your water bottle. If taking part in time trials or club championships bring some digestive biscuits or a cereal bar to nibble on

After Training / On Journey Home

Drink a carton of fruit juice but no fizzy drinks. Have a snack in your bag ready to eat, a banana, cereal bar or digestive biscuits to build up your energy levels again. Try to eat within 30 minutes of the end of your session


Have a high carbohydrate meal with some protein. Add to your meal by eating bread with it or drinking fruit juice. If you are really tired when you get home at least have a bowl of cereal with some semi-skimmed milk

High Carbohydrate Breakfasts

· Cereals – try some wholegrain varieties e.g. branflakes, shredded wheat, porridge, weetabix or muesli. Add chopped banana or other fresh and dried fruits to increase the carbohydrate content. Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, or yogurt with the cereal. Don’t choose the same cereal every day and don’t go for the sweetened cereals e.g. Frosties

· Toast – use wholemeal or wholegrain bread. Always go for thick sliced bread. Try raisin bread for a change. Take care not to smother it in high fat spreads

· Porridge sweetened with honey, raisins and dried apricots

· Scotch pancakes with syrup

· Toasted crumpets/teacakes with a little butter

· English muffins and marmite

· Bagels with jam/honey

· Low fat milkshake with banana/fresh fruit/low fat yogurt

· Fresh fruit and yogurts

· Beans on toast

· Boiled egg and toast

Light Meals and Snacks

· Filled sandwiches (thick sliced), rolls, pitta breads. Choose fillings such as cottage cheese, peanut butter, banana, salad, honey, marmite, tuna, chicken, turkey, ham or combinations of these e.g. ham salad

· Thick vegetable/ pulse based ( made with beans) soups and crackers

· Rice or pasta salad

· Beans or scrambled/poached eggs on toast

· Toasted sandwiches – thick sliced with one of the fillings listed above. If you want cheese go for a lower fat option such as Edam

· Jacket potato and filling – opt for low fat fillings such as tuna (no mayonnaise) and cottage cheese rather than cheese

· Risotto

· Tinned spaghetti in a tomato sauce

· Pasta with a light tomato based sauce

Snacks on the run

  • Sandwiches as described above
  • Low fat yogurts and fromage frais
  • Fresh fruit – apples, bananas, nectarines, oranges, grapes etc
  • English muffins, scones, crumpets
  • Scotch pancakes – no butter or margarine
  • Dried fruit – raisins, apricots etc
  • Cereal bars
  • Nuts and dried fruit combinations
  • Rice cakes, crackers and dry breakfast cereal

Main Meals

  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Chili Con Carne
  • Chicken with Potatoes
  • Jacket potato with tuna
  • Have fresh fruit, yogurt or jelly for desert

At competition

Breakfast before you leave

Arrive on time for warm up

30 mins warm up

Replace fluids

Less than one hour before race just keep to fluid replacement

More than one hour try to eat a little

Best to eat little and often during the day to keep energy levels high

Eating too much at once can make you feel heavy and tired

Try to eat during the longer breaks

Take your own food with you

Take enough fluid to last the whole day

Have something to eat and drink immediately after you last race

Avoid Burger King on your way home – high fat foods delay recovery

Have some high carbohydrate foods + protein prepared for you to eat as soon as you arrive home

Have a good nights rest especially if you are competing over the whole weekend

Snacks to have between events (1-2 hour breaks)

  • Small can fruit
  • Bananas and other fruit
  • Hot cross bun or raisin bread
  • A small sandwich with a light filling. Try a banana sandwich
  • Rice cakes you can top them with honey or jam
  • Bagels
  • Fruit scones
  • Plain crackers with jam
  • Jam or honey sandwiches
  • Carton of rice pudding