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Advice for 16 y.o. competitive swimmer

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  • Advice for 16 y.o. competitive swimmer

    As a family, we have been primal for about two months now. My 16 y.o. son is doing pretty well - has pizza when he's out with friends and that is also what he wanted for his birthday last week (specifically asked for "real" pizza) but otherwise is eating pretty well. He is planning to go back to competitive swimming in September. He has been out of commission for quite a while - surgery on both knees last September for plica bands and then a spinal fracture in January while swimming (Dr. feels it was due to rapid growth and the muscles couldn't keep up with the bone growth). He gained a lot of weight during his recovery and has lost about 15 lbs since going primal and feels a lot better.

    My question is, once he starts swimming again, how should we tweak his food? Right now, he will have a coconut milk, frozen fruit smoothie for breakfast, leftovers from the previous night's dinner or GF lunch meat for lunch and then for dinner he will have meat and veggies. Snacks are things like homemade Larabars, paleo trail mix, etc. Once school starts in September, breakfast will be either eggs, smoothie or something like paleo pancakes, lunch will be GF lunch meat with a piece of fruit and dinner will stay the same. From my reading, he should probably add in more carbs but should they be before or after the work outs which are right after school? If I send him with trail mix or larabars for after school would that be a good idea?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I really want him to be eating the best he can for optimum performance since he would really like to swim in college and junior year is the important year for college sports.


  • #2
    If you can get him to eat high quality food great. Don't make it a battle though, because you'll ultimately lose. The biggest thing I can recommend is quantity. 16y/o boys can put away copious amounts of food. Encourage him to eat for nutrition first, but don't deny him the treats he wants.

    What I'm getting at is. If he wants "real pizza" let him have it on occasion. The battle is not worth the price in the long run. You won't win anyhow. Just my opinion, sometimes we take this lifestyle too literally when it comes to our kids.


    • #3
      We don't battle over the "real pizza." When he's with his friends he has it but I don't cook it at home. He is totally on board with this way of eating because he has seen the positive changes in the way he feels. I just want to make sure that he is eating the correct fuel for someone who will be swimming for two hours a day.


      • #4
        I think if he's on board with the primal concept, then the biggest issue is eating enough quantity.


        • #5
          Isn't primal food the perfect fuel for athletes? You could add starchy veggies if you need to up the carbs, especially after a swim.
          Needing some accountability, so here's my stats:
          34yrs old, 5'5"
          CW: 163lbs (07/2014)
          GW: 135lbs or less
          Eating mainly paleo, but including a bit of white rice (don't call the Paleo Police!)