This article was first published here.
Paying attention to your nutrition is hard work, but after eating all of the right carbohydrates and proteins, sometimes you wonder if that attention to your diet really pays off? If you’ve recently started swimming, or have been participating in this powerful sport for years, there’s a chance that you may need a refresher on just what to eat to stay in top form.
We’ve talked to our Masters swimmers like Hall of Famer Laura Val, Olympian Rick Colella, and World record breaker Rich Burns, and they’ve shared some great ideas with us. These nutrition tips from the world’s best Masters swimmers will give you an edge and put you on track to have your best performance yet
- Eat Right
She’s one of the fastest swimmers in the world, and her International Hall of Fame status proves it. Laura Val advises swimmers to “think about your diet and how you fuel your body. We don’t always get everything we need from the food we eat. Don’t be afraid of adding a supplement to your diet. Women in particular need protein as we age to maintain muscle.” She’s right – there are many nutrients that female athletes are deficient in, including calcium and iron. Taking the right supplements can definitely help you stay strong and compete with the best.
- Weight Control
One of our most inspiring swimmers is Rich Burns. He shared that “as we get older, sedentary living adds pounds and inches to our waistlines. Swimming is a perfect way to maintain your body.” Nutrition becomes increasingly important as we age. One of the best ways to maintain good habits is to be around other like-minded people at your local club.
- Proper Nutrition
Not many people can call themselves an Olympian, but Rick Colella is one of those elite few. He says that “proper nutrition becomes more and more important as an athlete as we get older. You probably no longer have the ability to eat anything and everything that you had as a teenager, so a good diet is especially important.” And we definitely agree. Although teenagers shouldn’t be eating a ton of junk food either, nutrition for swimmers is important at every age.
- Recovery Matters
We talk a ton about recovery here at P2Life because it’s the difference between a good and great performance. Rich Abrahams, International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee and holder of over 60 world records agrees. “Proper nutrition is critical. What you put into your body for fuel cannot be an afterthought. Proper nutrition is the key to be able to train hard and recover fast. The need for the proper post-workout nutrition is well documented and needs to be heeded by any serious athlete.”
- Vitamins for Insurance
Many of us, no matter how much we monitor what we eat, are deficient in some of key vitamins and minerals, like magnesium and vitamin B12. This is why Masters swimmer Tim Shead, and founder of P2Life, created his product and says, “if you want to have maximum health, you never want your body to need something and not have it. And secondly, you never know what you’re gonna need from day to day, and every nutrient needs other nutrients to work. So make sure your body is getting it all.” Using nutrition as insurance to make sure your body always has enough of the right nutrients is important.