Nutritional Consistency for Swimmers
By: Calum McLellan, CISSN, CSCS, NASM-PESSports Nutritionist and Sports Performance SpecialistSpectrum Sports Performance
As a swim athlete there are many hours of hard training that are very demanding on the body. For most of you this could mean swimming twice a day and lifting weights a few times a week, all of which need to be performed at your very best efforts to reap the rewards of the training. If you’re putting in the effort to train hard, you should be putting in the efforts to eat properly to fuel these endeavors!
MAKE A MENTAL COMMITMENT: The first thing you have to understand about improving your eating patterns is knowing that you must be consistent with the changes you make! You have to set yourself up for success by planning what you’re going to eat and sticking to your plan to ensure that the changes become a habit. We are all habitual eaters, we tend to gravitate to things we are comfortable with but to take your training to the next level you need to provide your body with the right type and amount of calories.
CHOOSE ONE WEAKNESS: Once you make a mental commitment to make a change you must then identify ONE thing you struggle with and attack that one thing until you do it for seven days straight. It is very important that you only choose one thing to change as to not get overwhelmed. This will increase the chances that you will be consistent with the change you are making. Here are some examples of things you may struggle with:
1. Not eating before a workout
2. Not eating after a workout
3. Not eating enough
4. Not drinking enough fluids
5. Not eating the right foods
If after reading these and still not having a clue where to start, start with something easy like adding more fluids to your day. Keep a water bottle on hand all day and see how many times you can fill it up a day!
MAKE A CHANGE AND MOVE ON: Making drastic improvements in diet are a product of small consistent changes. Don’t think you’re going to become the Michael Phelps of eating over night. It’s important to work on the one thing you need to improve and stay on that thing until it’s a part of you. Once it is start on the next thing. I promise you will see more improvement by mastering one habit versus doing something occasionally.
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