When you are swimming your hardest, such as during a race, the dominant source of energy used by your muscles is carbohydrates. If you have a full day of competition and don’t refuel between races, your carbohydrate stores become depleted. In order for your hard work in practice and training to pay off, you need to have the proper energy available for your muscles. It is important to continuously refill your carbohydrate stores throughout the day for optimal performance.
Fruit is an excellent refueling source because it is packed with carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars. It is also low in fat and protein. Fruit is also full of vitamins and minerals, which won’t provide energy but will provide the body with some essential nutrients to help it run efficiently. Fruit can be fresh, frozen, canned or juiced. Avoid any processed fruit that contains added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
There are some important points to keep in mind when choosing bread items to snack on during competition. First, you do not want anything that is high in fat, so avoid croissants, pastries, donuts and muffins. Good bread sources include whole-wheat bread, bagels, pita bread and scones. For a tastier snack add all fruit jam or honey to the bread and bagels or try small amounts of hummus with the pita bread.
Sports bars, granola bars and cereal bars are great competition snacks, especially when you don’t have much time between events. You want a healthy energy bar that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and low in sugar. There are a variety of energy bars on the market that advertise themselves as the perfect competition bar but before you buy them, read the nutritional label and ingredients.
- Swimming image by Stana from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.