Nutrition for swimmers
I have a question about nutrition for a 12 year old competitive swimmer. We started the primal diet 3 weeks ago and it has been a big change for all of us. It is going well but my son is losing energy during his workouts. He swims five to six days a week, 5000 to 6000 meters per day. He also does dryland workouts 3 days a week. He is 5'10" and 155 pounds. He was eating about 4000 calories a day but now he has dropped to about 2500 to 3000 per day on our new diet. He is just not that hungry after our meals. He also has pretty much quit snacking, just not hungry (or maybe it is the lack of flour and sugar snacks in the house!).
My question is should I increase his carbs to closer 30 percent or higher? What would be the best way to provide him with the extra carbs, more fruit, dairy, sweet potatoes?
Sorry for the long post. Coaches are no help. They want him eating power bars, bagels and gatorade.
Thanks ahead for any help!
absolutely go higher on the carbs....probably with more tubers and dairy.
Originally Posted by 3rrrose
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Thanks Cillakat! I was leaning that way but wanted to be sure.
As a swimmer and coach for age groupers, HS & all the way through masters, I would definitely increase the carb intake for your son with more starchy veggies and possibly wild rice, but not so much with dairy. I would also stay FAR away from Gatorade, I never recommend it to my swimmers or their families... cut no sugar added 100% veggie/fruit juice 50/50 with water or have him snack on dried fruit with increased water intake.
During season, sprouted breads in moderation should be OK too. If he is a USA/YMCA year-round swimmer, be sure he gets adequate rest and downtime between seasons (which I know is hard to do)!
I'm still trying to adapt for myself as a masters swimmer. I recently embraced the PB lifestyle and am still working on a 'plan' that is optimal for this kind of training.
Thank you npendleton!
I hate Gatorade and always have!! I have him eating sweet potatoes with dinner, I am also making certain that he has dried fruit with a few nuts to snack on a few hours before practice. He loves carrots and smoothies made with coconut milk, banana, berrys and chopped walnuts. Since we added more sweet potato and dried fruit he is doing much better at practice.
I am considering a whey smoothie after practice, but he hates anything with protein powder in it. I think I will first see how he does on what we are eating now. I will also try the fruit juice mixed with water.
Rest is a big issue. They want him to swim 6 days a week, 2 hours at a time. He did it during summer and ended up with pnuemonia. I understand how much they must swim but I have cut him back to 5 days a week.
I look forward to seeing your future posts! Thanks again for the feedback.
I'm all for young people getting their complete nutrition from whole foods, not necessarily from supplements or shakes. Remember swimming is a bit different training and nutrition wise from some other sports, so the extra whey is most likely not necessary unless your son just hates meat/eggs... Your smoothie, however, sounds delish and I'm going to give it a go! That would be great after practice.
The 6days/2hpd is not unreasonable for swimmers. Again, the time put in the pool is really necessary to keep in competitive shape and if his team tapers around championships, that build up in quality mileage is key. That said, his health is most important but it sounds like you've got him running fairly smooth now with the sweet potatoes & fruits.
Hope the season goes well. Swim fast and have fun!
I just ran across the Primal Blueprint and started making the switch for myself. But my wife and I are not sure what to do with my 16-year-old son's diet. He swims with USA Swimming with Jr. National cuts. With it being an Olympic trial year he will be doing everything possible to try and make the cut. We are think he would benefit by "going primal," but, we're concerned that his performance might suffer while we try to figure out how to make the switch.
Well, calorically speaking an endurance athlete can probably eat whatever they want and not gain weight. When you burn that many calories in a day - you're not going to gain weight.
That doesn't mean that you receive enough vitamins, amino acids and vitamins to repair the damage that you sustain with that unnatural lifestyle. Nor does it ensure that you'll maintain homeostasis on either a chemical or neurological basis.
That's the beauty of the paleo lifestyle. It's self-sufficient in all regards. Need more energy - eat more food. Appropriate foods.
I see a lot of people telling each other how to cheat on this forum and almost nobody talking about how to succeed.
A dietary supplement or food supplement is a preparation intended to supply nutrients (such as vitamins minerals, fatty acids or amino acids) that are missing or not consumed in sufficient quantity in a person's diet.
In the 50's and 60's coachs had us mix 1 quart of Orange Juice with 1 pint of raw honey. We'd drink and 8oz glass just before workouts or competitions. No other dietary changes. That did provide the energy for the session. The taste takes a little getting used to.