PDA

View Full Version : Eating before swimming?



apollyon
March 7th, 2012, 12:18 PM
As a runner, I don't eat anything heavy or difficult to digest before I run. Specifically, I don't usually eat anything an hour before I run. But I'm curious as to what works for swimmers? I can't get out of my head that warning that was floating around when I was a kid: don't eat anything for two hours before you swim otherwise you'll get cramps and die. I know it is different for everyone, but what works for you?

Also in the field of food questions, what foods are good for swimmers? I assume we like carbs and protein, but are there other food groups or foods I should be paying attention to?

I go running and then swimming almost every day, and it's hard for me to know when to.eat for swimming. I get off work at 5, and go running immediately after for about an hour. Then I usually rest for an hour and eat a little, like some fruit or something, but otherwise I wait to really eat until I get done swimming around 9 or so. Any help or.suggestions for this new swimmer is greatly appreciated.

knelson
March 7th, 2012, 12:50 PM
Obviously the "you'll get cramps and die" thing is nothing more than an old wives' tale. As you said, though, it really is different for everyone. Some people will tell you they can't eat before swimming. Others can eat like a horse with no adverse effects. I think you'll need to learn by trial and error, but there is no inherent reason NOT to eat before swimming. The same kind of foods that you'd want to eat before or after a running workout would work for swimming. No difference there that I know of.

Fresnoid
March 7th, 2012, 01:15 PM
I'm a swimmer who has done a lot of running. I definitely can't eat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours before running, but have no problems eating 1/2 hour before swimming.

geochuck
March 7th, 2012, 01:24 PM
Look at the chapter "Abou Hief is a garbage can" It explains the habits of maraton swimmers and eating. http://books.google.ca/books?id=CtF0DgKT_GcC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

arthur
March 7th, 2012, 01:58 PM
Right when I came back to swimming I needed about 2 hours after a large meal or I might feel it if we did a hard set. Now I can finish dinner right before I leave for the pool (10m drive) and have no issues.

Sojerz
March 7th, 2012, 02:01 PM
I'm kind of doing the opposite or your routine. Biking (indoor spinning now) early in the AM for an hour and then swimming right after about 3000 yds. Because im statring out on an empty stomach in the AM, I usually have some carbs (toast with peanut butter or a bkfst bar) and bring a sports drink along that i consume during spinning. I then just drink water during swimming. I try to consume another 20 oz or so of sports drink right after swimming and eat bkfst pretty quickly to refuel. From what I've read, getting rehydrated after running and refuleing carbs after the workouts is probably the most important thing to do. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to add a little protein after the run and before you swim.

rxleakem
March 7th, 2012, 07:24 PM
I try not to eat a large meal before swimming because it makes me a little nauseous. Most of my practices are around our dinner time, so I will generally eat a granola bar before practice and then eat when I get home. I have eaten supper before leaving to swim, and I can feel my stomach churning.

Lui
March 8th, 2012, 06:14 AM
If I am too hungry to swim I eat 1-2 bananas or a soft pretzel before I swim. Even if I eat that 10 minutes before I swim I'm fine. I just don't eat a whole meal.

Paul 1953
March 8th, 2012, 10:29 AM
Funny how some trivia sticks in your mind.

Back when I started swimming in the early '80's, I remember a quote from Mark Spitz saying that if you can't devour a double cheeseburger & fries before your workout, then you are not in shape...

But swimming has changed a lot since the 80's :)

More recently... I'm 58 and have always been a little hypoglycemic (keeps me thin).
A couple months ago, I ate a bunch of sweets before bed. Got up, ate nothing and swam for an hour. Got home, and my short term memory was GONE...couldn't even remember my workout, or an email I had started writing earlier. I was walking around in a daze. My wife thought I was having a stroke and took me to the emergency room. Turns out it was a symptom of crashing blood sugar. I should have eaten something before my workout.

philoswimmer
March 8th, 2012, 02:44 PM
I am probably at the far end of the spectrum, but I have to have 2 1/2 to 3 hrs in between eating and my workout, or else I feel nauseous... quite close to vomiting in he worst case, though I have managed to avoid actually doing it. I read something recently that this may be asthma related (I do have asthma) but I don't know if there is anything to that.

Jimbosback
March 8th, 2012, 02:55 PM
If I eat more than an hour before, I am starving during workout.

Lui
March 8th, 2012, 06:16 PM
Back when I started swimming in the early '80's, I remember a quote from Mark Spitz saying that if you can't devour a double cheeseburger & fries before your workout, then you are not in shape...


When I was a bike messenger I HAD to eat while "working out". Oddly you don't consider it as working out even though my ten hour shift was tougher than any swim workout I ever did in my life. Due to the lack of time, I had to eat what went fast. I often got about 3 whoppers and 3 large fries at Burger King in the afternoon, shoved it down my throat, hopped on my bike and cycled the next few hours. I never got stomach cramps.

EJB190
March 8th, 2012, 11:07 PM
I don't like to eat before swimming. It has to be at least 1.5hrs beforehand. Sometimes that isn't even enough sometimes.

NEVER mention eating donuts to me while I'm swimming. I don't know why but it makes me so nauseous- the thought of donuts, swimming, and chlorine. I honestly thrown up in my mouth swimming on several occasions from people mentioning donuts during practice.

orca1946
March 8th, 2012, 11:52 PM
1 1/2 to 2 hours for a real meal before practice, gatoraid during & a McDonalds salad when I get home at 10pm.

That Guy
March 9th, 2012, 12:22 AM
NEVER mention eating donuts to me while I'm swimming. I don't know why but it makes me so nauseous- the thought of donuts, swimming, and chlorine. I honestly thrown up in my mouth swimming on several occasions from people mentioning donuts during practice. donuts

Couroboros
March 9th, 2012, 03:19 AM
I finished an entire large pepperoni pizza from Sbarro's literally 15 minutes before a practice one time. I didn't feel sick or nauseous in the pool at all.

Debugger
March 9th, 2012, 05:51 AM
Usually I have an early workout so I eat a small breakfast (2 sandwiches and yogurt with tea) 1/2 an hour before workout. After the workout I make second small breakfast which consists of fruit (banana, apples, nuts ets with juice). That works for me fine. If I don't eat at all before the workout I'm getting weak after half an hour swimming.
If I have a large meal I definitely need 2h or more before the workout.

Debugger
March 9th, 2012, 05:57 AM
I finished an entire large pepperoni pizza from Sbarro's literally 15 minutes before a practice one time. I didn't feel sick or nauseous in the pool at all.
IMO that depends on age. When I was young I could "eat an elephant" right before the workout and I was fine. :D But now my metabolism became slower and I need to be more careful to what I eat and how much I eat.

EJB190
March 9th, 2012, 08:51 AM
donuts

Thanks. The poor other swimmers in my pool thank you too.

__steve__
March 9th, 2012, 08:58 AM
jelly-filled

sickfish
March 9th, 2012, 10:23 AM
I try to eat a good hour or so before I swim just so things have a chance to digest and I'm not running on fumes. I'm fine eating anything; usually it's breakfast food, like cereal or oatmeal or whatever, but sometimes it's leftover pizza or frozen burritos. A few weeks ago I had a turkey sandwich for breakfast. The only negative side effect I experience from eating too close to a workout is belching whatever my breakfast was, which really is more of a negative for everyone else than it is for me :D

knelson
March 9th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Usually I have an early workout so I eat a small breakfast (2 sandwiches and yogurt with tea)

Small breakfast? Who are you, Michael Phelps? :)

apollyon
March 9th, 2012, 01:21 PM
This was awesome. Thanks everyone. Running before and then Not eating anything in between really took a lot out of me. But I'm experimenting with what works for me in swimming, and I've already noticed a difference in the energy that I have while I'm swimming. But by all means, keep discussing the topic.

rxleakem
March 9th, 2012, 01:23 PM
I like donuts with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles. :D

Debugger
March 9th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Small breakfast? Who are you, Michael Phelps? :)
Why? Is that much? (Sandwiches are made of 1 piece of bread not double ones :D)

Water Rat
March 9th, 2012, 03:04 PM
1/2 a clif bar and a cup of coffee on the way into morning practice at 5am.
1 whole clif bar and some water before evening practice (5:30pm). Both about 30 minutes before I swim. I find if I eat too soon, I "crash" in the middle sometimes.

bamueller
March 9th, 2012, 03:52 PM
7 AM swim: 2 eggs, toast, OJ, 32 oz water starting at 6 AM. Banana afterwards, maybe choc milk.

Noon practice: I will have had breakfast 4 hours prior, so I eat a PB&J or something with protein/carbs, and hydrate plenty.

For races and distance events, I follow my 7 AM schedule. Fuel up and hydrate.

When it comes to running, I don't eat much at all because it bounces around in my gut making me feel awful.

jethro
March 12th, 2012, 08:57 PM
I typically have a package of frosted brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts 45 minutes before my morning workout. Breakfast of champions. :agree:

TUTs_mama
March 12th, 2012, 09:21 PM
I eat a luna bar on the way to the gym, followed by water, usually 15-20 minutes before I hit the pool. Packaging says that luna bars are low glycemic, so they don't burn out fast and boy is that true. I can do a 90 minute workout and not be hungry at all!

gdanner
March 13th, 2012, 09:05 AM
I know it is different for everyone, but what works for you?

The only things I will eat within two hours of a race at a meet are power bars or fruit. I like to have very little in my system when I'm racing. This has worked out for me over the years.

Similarly for my meals (at meets), I usually keep it pretty light for breakfast and lunch and then will have a solid dinner. I will throw in snacks if I am hungry, but basically try to avoid having big meals.

For practice, my schedule just kind of works out where I'm not swimming close to my meals. I eat lunch around 1pm and don't swim until 5:30pm, so it doesn't matter much what I eat.

ButterflyBabe
March 19th, 2012, 08:35 PM
I eat a small snack before swimming- an apple, orange, or granola bar.
During the workout, water. It stinks to be drinking water while in water, but it's the best for your body.
Gatorade AFTER to replenish all those lost electrolytes.
I eat like a man afterwards...lots of pasta and carb rich foods.

~ButterflyBabe

TUTs_mama
March 21st, 2012, 01:50 AM
I eat a small snack before swimming- an apple, orange, or granola bar.
During the workout, water. It stinks to be drinking water while in water, but it's the best for your body.
Gatorade AFTER to replenish all those lost electrolytes.
I eat like a man afterwards...lots of pasta and carb rich foods.

~ButterflyBabe


I am so bad at drinking water while swimming (well, outside pool water :)). I think because I am cool and not covered in sweat, I do not think about how much I am losing.

swimmerb212
March 21st, 2012, 10:46 AM
I have often thought about trying to swim a workout with no food in my system, but I'm afraid to even attempt it. I usually eat around 5am for a 6am practice, and it's cereal or oatmeal. During the fall, sometimes I eat leftover pumpkin pie, which for me, has great lasting power for a full workout.

Life has been good since I abandoned all granola and nutrition bars, which are really hard for me to digest, as easy as they are to eat.

knelson
March 21st, 2012, 11:31 AM
During the workout, water. It stinks to be drinking water while in water, but it's the best for your body.
Gatorade AFTER to replenish all those lost electrolytes.

I usually drink just water, but I also like to drink Diluted Gatorade during workouts. I use about a 1:4 Gatorade to water ratio. If you're only swimming an hour workout you probably don't need it, but when you're swimming for 90 minutes or two hours I think you want to replenish electrolytes and carbs during the workout.

EJB190
March 22nd, 2012, 12:05 PM
jelly-filled

Glazed mostly. I'm just about to leave to go to the pool.