Watch what you eat

Your Are what you Eat!

Where do we get the energy from to fuel our muscles?

    • ATP/CP System –   stored in your muscles and lasts between 5-10 sec short swim or lifting weights (anaerobic)
    • Glycolysis System - glycogen stored in the muscle and liver is broken down. Lasts from 10sec and up to 2min(in trained athletes, by-product of this is lactic Acid.  
    • Aerobic System –   if the body becomes too acidic, it switches to use a combination of fat, glucose and stored muscle glycogen. Oxygen needs to be present 

Energy Currency - Carbs

    • Carbohydrate
    • Carbohydrate is the major energy currency the body chooses. 
    • Stored in Muscle and Liver as Glycogen.
    • Muscles can access the Glycogen pool quickly (and almost exclusively) at between 80 and 95% of max HR.
    • Total body Glycogen stores last a maximum of 2 hours at above intensity before depletion.
    • Recovery from muscle depletion has been shown to take 7-10 days to recover from.
    • Do not get depleted!
    • Some CHO’s release their glucose slowly, and others quickly.
    • This is important - eg if your glycogen stores are low – to top them up quickly you need to eat the quick release CHO.
    • The Glycemic Index is a ranking of CHO foods based on how quick they release glucose. Just because something is sweet  doesn’t necessarily mean it will breakdown into glucose quickly.
    • CHO’s that break down quickly have a high GI number
    • High GI foods in recovery to top up glycogen stores quickly
    • High GI foods and fluids during training maintain glucose levels.
    • Low GI foods 2-3 hours before events and training help keep 

Energy Currency - Fats

    • Fats
    • Fats are stored in the body within the muscle and in adipocytes, which are located subcutaneously.
    • Impossible to deplete the fat reserves, therefore there are major benefits from having the ability to effectively use them.
    • Longer, slower process of breakdown, but the yield of energy per gram of fat is greater than per gram of carbohydrate.
    • Fats become dominant energy source after extended periods (1.5 hours+) of training/racing, when heart rate is below 70% of max.
    • The body can be trained to use fat as the dominant energy source at intensities as high as 80% of max heart rate. This takes months of high mileage/low intensity training to achieve. This has the effect of sparing the glycogen pool – increased endurance!

Energy Currency - Protein

    • Protein
    • Not designed as an energy source.
    • Used in times of stress when other body supplies cannot meet the demand.
    • Source – Muscle tissue. Continuous cycles of depletion cause a decrease in muscle mass = 
    • Decreased Performance.

Take Home Message:

    • Maintain Adequate Carb Levels
    • Avoid depletion
    • Invest in your body’s ability to use fat as a major energy source by putting in long easy km’s in the pool.  

Rationale 

    • Breakfast comes at a time after body has been sleeping for 8 hours. This equals mild glycogen depletion. Restocking glycogen stores is key.
    • Dinner comes at end of day, after muscles have been used and protein is needed to rebuild them.
    • (Also, imagine starting the day with a 300g Rump in the tummy! – not ideal)
    • Low fat diet to maintain lean mass, without unneeded ‘spare tires’.
    • Eating often, speeds up metabolic turnover = leaner and faster.
    • Human growth hormone is secreted while we sleep and in order for your body to rebuild itself, it needs the building blocks to do so – Amino acids, which are the molecules that make up protein.

Examples of a well balanced diet

Healthy Breakfast Examples: 

    • Cereal, muesli, or oats with milk. Add some fruit and juice.
    • Brown or whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and honey with fruit and juice.

And on the odd occasion:

    • Brown or whole-wheat French toast with banana and maple syrup. 

Healthy Morning Snack Ideas: 

    • Dried mango, or other dried fruit, fresh fruit, cashew nuts, bean salad.

Healthy Lunch Ideas:

    • Grilled chicken breast with rice and salad.
    • Beef or chicken stir fry with pasta.

And on the odd occasion:

    • Nando’s chicken burger with chips (don’t eat fried potato chips more than once per week)

Healthy Afternoon Snack Ideas:

    • Lean biltong with fresh fruit and nuts.

Healthy Supper Ideas:

    • Grilled fillet of fish with vegetables.
    • Roast Chicken and vegetables.

What to bring to the Training Pool

    • Fluid: It should be a carbohydrate and electrolyte solution as natural as possible, but consider the amount of Fructose as that can cause GI distress. 
    • My recommendations and ratings of widely available energy drinks for during training/performing:
    • Gu2O – 4/5
    • PowerBar Drink – 4/5
    • Energade – 3/5 (very short chain, Hi GI)
    • Powerade – 3/5 (very short chain, Hi GI)
    • Fruit juice – 2/5 (high in Fructose)
    • Coke – 2/5 (Great in an emergency, but short chain Hi GI)
    • Water – 1/5 (Can a Formula 1 car perform on water alone? – Well neither can you!)

These drinks can be supplemented with banana’s, energy bars or even chocolate, if the session is two hours in duration.

What do I do on race day?

Race day - meals

    • Aim is to top up glycogen stores.
    • Boost fluid levels.
    • The meal before an event CAN’T replace a poor diet during the week.
    • Should eat 3-4 hours before the events
    • E.G. porridge, yog + fruit, toast + spag, pasta or rice, or smoothie.

Event meal tips

    • Drink, drink ,drink. Urine should be clear or pale yellow
    • Top up 1-2 hours before.
    • Make sure it is low fat, high CHO.

Get Meets Mobile

meet mobile

Swim Meets Go Mobile!

Now swimmers, parents and fans can view meet information in real time on their mobile phone.

Click picture below to get app

app store badgeandroid-app-on-google-play