Swimmers are known for having big appetites, and for good reason: Swimming burns a ton of calories and works every muscle in your body!
But how much does a pro swimmer actually need to eat to swim fast? Let’s take a peek at what MySwimPro CEO Fares Ksebati eats in a day while training.
After waking up, I drink a few cups of water before heading out to do some light exercise.
Because this workout is short, I don’t feel like I need to eat anything beforehand. This is personal though – if you find that you perform better when you eat something before your workouts, do it!
After my morning workout, I focused on replenishing with carbohydrates to replace the energy my body used during my workout.
I refueled with two dates, six apricots, a banana and two mini bagels with cream cheese.
The variety of fruits I added to my plate contain fiber, vitamins and antioxidants to promote recovery and reduce inflammation in my body.
I also drank more water with breakfast to replace the fluid I lost during my workout.
Swim Workout & Lunch
In the afternoon, I headed to the pool for a swim workout. I like to wait three to five hours after eating to do my workouts, to make sure my stomach doesn’t get upset. I’ll still drink water during that time, but I try to keep food to a minimum.
Since my swim workouts are typically one hour or less, I don’t need a big meal beforehand.
During my swim, I hydrated with a Prime sports drink to replenish the electrolytes I was losing in my sweat.
To refuel, I had a big salad, plus a few more cups of water. Here’s the breakdown:
- 12 oz lettuce
- 2 oz strawberries
- 2 oz Mandarin oranges
- 1 oz walnuts
- 2 oz blue cheese
- 6 cucumber slices
- 6 oz grilled chicken
- 4 oz strawberry vinaigrette
I also had some saganaki (a Greek cheese dish) with pita bread, and finished off my sister’s french fries.
I prefer to count my calories to make sure I’m eating enough calories to maintain my weight. I use a baseline of 2,500 calories to start, and make sure to eat additional calories based on what I burn during my workouts.
Today, I burned about 1,000 calories between both of my workouts, so my target was 3,500 calories for the day.
For dinner, I had two chicken enchiladas that were filled with chicken, black beans, tomatoes and rice, topped with cheese and cilantro.
Related: Why Do Swimmers Eat So Much?
I covered all of my nutritional bases here, with protein, carbs, fats and a bunch of micronutrients in the veggies.
After dinner, I headed to a local Turkish cafe for dessert. While the majority of my diet is focused on fueling for performance, it’s still important to have balance and enjoy sweet treats on occasion. I eat healthy most of the time and don’t feel guilty when it’s time to indulge.
At the end of the day, I had eaten 3,146 calories. It’s a bit shy of my 3,500 calorie goal, but I wasn’t concerned about it. Here’s how my macros turned out:
- 269g carbohydrates
- 136g fat
- 176g protein
Nutrition Tips for Swimmers
- Eat Enough Protein: Most people don’t eat enough protein. Boost your intake where you can with balanced meals and snacks.
- Hydrate: shoot for 8-10 cups of water per day, or more if you’re training.
- Listen to Your Body: Take a personalized approach to your nutrition. Just because I eat this way doesn’t mean you should.
Take Your Nutrition to the Next Level
Nutrition plays an important role in your overall performance, and I found it helpful to join Beine Wellness Building‘s Genetic Reboot Program to get an in-depth look at my personal nutrition needs.
I started with a DNA test and broke down my nutrition profile with Founder Erica Beine. The test showed me my vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities, recovery needs and more.
Erica is a former collegiate swimmer and coach, and she has helped athletes at all levels excel with the right nutrition plan. She takes an individualized approach to nutrition coaching, making sure every athlete gets exactly what they need – it’s not one size fits all.
Mention MySwimPro when you book your free consultation call, and you’ll get an additional three months of free nutrition support after completing the Genetic Reboot Program. That’s a $60 value, free for the MySwimPro community.
Drop a comment with your go-to pre or post swim workout snacks! And if you’re ready to start your swim training journey, download the MySwimPro app for personalized swim Training Plans and daily workouts.