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Judester
September 6th, 2014, 07:30 PM
Is it just me or is it more common for swimmers to develop a significant increase in their appetite than athletes in other sports? I usually swim in the late afternoons and evenings, 6-7 days a week, for 3,500 to 4,500 yards (60-90 minutes at 60-80% HRmax intensity) and my workouts vary from training interval workouts to straight distance workouts. I started upping my workouts from short 1,000 - 1,500 yards to 3,500 - 4,500 yards over the last three months and since then, my appetite in the evenings and during the night has gotten out of control. I still get full on moderate amounts of food but then I'm starving again 20 minutes later and continue to be starving until breakfast and after breakfast, my appetite becomes pretty stable (but I'm busy in the daytime so I may be hungry and just not aware of it). I never felt this way after other types of exercise.

I haven't given in by increasing my food intake but I also haven't lost any weight either (unfortunately). I'm a small person (5'0", 120 lbs) and my calorie burn is pretty low - my BMR is 1255 and I burn only 350-450 calories on a 60 minute workout (I can burn up to 650 on a 90 minute workout at 80-95% HRmax intensity). So, it's not like I can afford to eat a whole lot.

So, is this a swimming phenomenon or am I just weird? And if swimmers tend to be hungrier than other athletes, why?

dulfin
September 6th, 2014, 07:58 PM
Excellent question! Wish I knew the answer. HA!

When I was in high school, I swam 4 years - each of those four years I played different sports as well. I never ate so much or drank so much milk as I did when I was swimming. On competition days, I remember getting two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (thanks mom!)! And because we lived so close to school, I could run home for a quick fix and still get back in time for a meet! Ridiculous now when I look back on that. But I never gained weight and maintained.

I recently got back into the pool after a long hiatus, so far appetite is normal. Then again, I'm not training like I'm in high school anymore either. LOL But I must say I'm drinking more water than usual. Could that be the chlorine affect?

suphillips
September 6th, 2014, 08:31 PM
Sprint workouts make me ridiculously hungry, but distance workouts curb my appetite. Go figure.

jpetyk
September 6th, 2014, 09:44 PM
When I got back in the pool, I actually GAINED weight because my appetite was insatiable. Someone advised me to eat more protein (i.e. eggs) instead of cereal for breakfast (after AM workout). The protein takes longer to break down and metabolize. I noticed a change immediately. So now I keep Cliff Bars handy for when I don't have time for a proper breakfast and they do the trick. I try to make sure my protein intake is high enough to keep me from raiding the pantry.

Judester
September 6th, 2014, 10:46 PM
When I got back in the pool, I actually GAINED weight because my appetite was insatiable. Someone advised me to eat more protein (i.e. eggs) instead of cereal for breakfast (after AM workout). The protein takes longer to break down and metabolize. I noticed a change immediately. So now I keep Cliff Bars handy for when I don't have time for a proper breakfast and they do the trick. I try to make sure my protein intake is high enough to keep me from raiding the pantry.


My diet, even before swimming, is 50% protein, 25% fat, and 25% carbs. Maybe I should decrease my protein and eat more fat. Maybe start eating nuts or Atkins bars.

Swimosaur
September 8th, 2014, 09:26 AM
I usually swim ... 6-7 days a week, for 3,500 to 4,500 yards ... haven't lost any weight either (unfortunately). I'm a small person (5'0", 120 lbs) ...

(Somewhat off topic) You sound like a terrifically fit person, and at 5'0", 120, even the ridiculous BMI Tables (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmi_tbl.htm) say you don't have to lose weight. Why do you want to lose weight? Maybe there's no weight to lose! Chug one of those awful protein shakes. They kill my appetite for anything ...

DeniseMW
September 8th, 2014, 09:44 AM
Various studies have been inconclusive on whether swimming makes you hungry vs. any other type of exercise. But most say it depends on your overall nutrition and how much you eat before and after.

I found that it did make me hungry at first, but my hunger leveled out after about a month or two when my body got used to swimming. And I lost some weight. However, no amount of exercise will help you lose weight if it becomes an excuse to eat. I've heard that the next issue of Swim will have something on nutrition, so perhaps that will help. I'm also 5' tall, but trying to get back to 110. I was 95 lbs. in my 30s and considered myself pretty fit, but that all went to the proverbial heat wave in a hand basket when I hit my late 40s and mental pause set in. But if I could get to 120 I'd be pretty darned happy.

renie
September 8th, 2014, 11:04 AM
I've been swimming for over 20 years and I am ravenous on the days I swim. On the days I do cardio and lift weights at the gym, I eat half as much during the day. I am 5'6" and weigh 115. People think I have an eating disorder, and I laugh because I am an eating machine from breakfast to dinner. I read sometime ago, that running (I used to be a runner exclusively) heats up the body temperature, which in turn, curbs the appetite, whereas swimming has a more cooling effect and increases hunger. I don't know if that makes sense, but don't people eat less in the summer when it's hot? :confused:

__steve__
September 8th, 2014, 03:57 PM
Could you be underweight? Increasing fat intake, like you said, sounds good to me too.

Are you maintaining a balanced diet within meals, not just as a daily net? Thats what I have trouble with - finding the time and convienience to eat a little of everything for each meal. I try to add a fresh fruit or vegetable each meal to help balance it out but sometimes this aint possible.

Also, if your BMR is low, maybe four meals might help and give room to eat a larger variety by increasing metabolism. Just a guess here as I am a mechanic, not a nutritionist

Judester
September 9th, 2014, 03:57 PM
(Somewhat off topic) You sound like a terrifically fit person, and at 5'0", 120, even the ridiculous BMI Tables say you don't have to lose weight. Why do you want to lose weight? Maybe there's no weight to lose! Chug one of those awful protein shakes. They kill my appetite for anything ...

My goal is 110. I have a poochie stomach. ��


I've been swimming for over 20 years and I am ravenous on the days I swim. On the days I do cardio and lift weights at the gym, I eat half as much during the day. I am 5'6" and weigh 115. People think I have an eating disorder, and I laugh because I am an eating machine from breakfast to dinner. I read sometime ago, that running (I used to be a runner exclusively) heats up the body temperature, which in turn, curbs the appetite, whereas swimming has a more cooling effect and increases hunger. I don't know if that makes sense, but don't people eat less in the summer when it's hot?

I've heard the same thing about people eating less in the summer and more in the winter.

I'm wondering if it's all in my head. I swam earlier today instead of later like I usually do and I'm not hungry now. Although, I did do a straight easy long distance swim (aerobic) instead of a high intensity swim (anaerobic) and I've heard that aerobic exercise curbs appetite whereas, anaerobic makes you hungrier.


Could you be underweight? Increasing fat intake, like you said, sounds good to me too.

Are you maintaining a balanced diet within meals, not just as a daily net? Thats what I have trouble with - finding the time and convienience to eat a little of everything for each meal. I try to add a fresh fruit or vegetable each meal to help balance it out but sometimes this aint possible.

Also, if your BMR is low, maybe four meals might help and give room to eat a larger variety by increasing metabolism. Just a guess here as I am a mechanic, not a nutritionist

I'm in the higher range of the ideal weight category for my height. I'm on a high protein diet and I pretty much live on Premier protein shakes, Quest protein bars, Detour protein bars, chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, puffed kamut (cereal), unsweetened almond milk, and vitamins. When I eat fruit, it's usually strawberries but I try to avoid sugar. I eat about 5 times a day - breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and evening snack. It's the evening snack I have trouble with because I eat dinner right after my swim (after 9) and then my evening snack at 11 or midnight. I'm afraid to move my dinner to before swimming because that leaves me with only a snack to curb my post-swim appetite until breakfast. Maybe I just need more food in general. Maybe I should be eating 6 times a day.

renie
September 14th, 2014, 09:05 PM
sounds like you have a very high metabolism! It seems like you are getting plenty of protein and eat extremely healthily. What vitamins do you take? I think I remember reading that vitamins can increase appetite.

DeniseMW
September 15th, 2014, 08:26 AM
I can tell you right off the bat that the evening dinner is the at least one culprit. I quit eating after 6:30 p.m. because of my rehearsal schedule, and I've lost weight even though I can't exercise. Try eating a half cup of low fat yogurt with some fruit and flax after your swim and eat a more hearty breakfast, and don't worry that you'll starve, because you won't.

I'm personally not a big fan of food substitutes like protein bars. A hard boiled egg or peanut butter or some other form of unprocessed protein is more filling. A high protein diet isn't great for any athlete. If you're swimming you need the carbs before you exercise and should be taking in protein after. Too much protein can also cause health issues down the road. If you eat a moderate amount of carbs and protein together before you swim, and some light protein after, you may find it easier to lose those few extra pounds.

I'm not a nutritionist, but if you have access to one, I'd recommend you get with him/her to sort out your diet. I'm not a fan of Atkins, or any program that restricts a certain food group, especially if you're exercising as hard as you are. I salute you in your efforts:notworthy::wine: and your hard work in the pool.

Bobinator
September 15th, 2014, 08:35 AM
I agree w/DeniseMW, you need to eat real food. I don't trust the stabilizers and preservatives in all those packaged foods at all!
If you feel like you have a poochie stomach try doing 2X 6 minutes of specific core work in the a.m. and p.m. aCE fitness has some great ideas. Also speed work tends to whittle away the mid-section, distance not-so-much.
You sound very fit and smart! Keep up the great work Judester!

jpetyk
September 15th, 2014, 10:16 AM
Denise,
Question... I swim at 5 am and cannot eat before practice (I wake up 10 minutes before I leave, and besides it will re-appear). I have eggs for breakfast when I get home, and usually a Greek yogurt around 10 am to tide me over until lunch time. Based on your suggestions, should I be eating carbs at breakfast too, or before I go to bed?

Jenn

DeniseMW
September 15th, 2014, 11:47 AM
jpetyk, I used to grab a handful of cereal that combined protein and carbs, but I didn't swim quite that early in the morning. I think sticking with protein post-workout is fine, and if you're really hungry, have some oatmeal with your eggs, which won't play havoc with your blood sugar. Another trick is to add 1 TBS of peanut butter to oatmeal, so you get a good protein/carb combination. It's like an oatmeal/peanut butter cookie for breakfast. You are getting some carbs with the Greek yogurt, especially if you're adding fruit and/or flax.

Some people can eat before bedtime, I cannot. That's probably a question for a nutritionist, though. I'm not a nutritionist, but I've been to several and am constantly reading and checking nutrition websites to come up with the right balance for me because I'm borderline Type 2 diabetic. There was a time when I was 19 and training karate, I used to eat two candy bars a day, have a big evening meal after each workout, and never gained an ounce.

There are folks on the boards who train the way you do. Maybe someone like ElaineK or Swimosaur, or Allen Stark will weigh in with advice. They train hard, and know a lot more about what it takes to fuel the tank.

Allen Stark
September 15th, 2014, 12:45 PM
Denise,
Question... I swim at 5 am and cannot eat before practice (I wake up 10 minutes before I leave, and besides it will re-appear). I have eggs for breakfast when I get home, and usually a Greek yogurt around 10 am to tide me over until lunch time. Based on your suggestions, should I be eating carbs at breakfast too, or before I go to bed?

Jenn

I cannot swim on an empty stomach.If I don't have enough time for anything else I'll drink some Hammer Perpetuem in the car on the way.It is supposed to be scientifically designed to be rapidly absorbed and not cause nausea.I have not found that to be 100% true, but I can keep it down.Several other companies make similar drinks. Most experts I have heard or read recommend some carbs within 45 min of the workout to replenish muscle glycogen.

hlopez84
September 15th, 2014, 12:57 PM
So, is this a swimming phenomenon or am I just weird? And if swimmers tend to be hungrier than other athletes, why?

In college, I was part of a study that compared the calorie consumption between swimmers, and runners. The results were inconclusive but there is a direct correlation between water temperature and calorie intake. If I remember correctly, depending on water temperature swimmers could consume almost 44% more calories than their track counterparts during their post workout meals.
They also compared body fat content between both sets of atheletes and on average runners have lower body fat percentages than swimmers. Again they attributed this to water temperature. The study was inconclusive but it sheds some light on your question.

DeniseMW
September 15th, 2014, 03:47 PM
I think carbs have been demonized because so many people equate them with sugar, bread, and other low nutrient foods.

I wish I could work out hard enough that my muscles needed their glycogen replenished LOL.

orca1946
September 15th, 2014, 05:19 PM
My problem is I like to eat! Swimming keeps me down to 1/4 ton. Yes protein will help in hunger control - just not in a chic. milk shake .

ElaineK
September 16th, 2014, 10:16 PM
There are folks on the boards who train the way you do. Maybe someone like ElaineK or Swimosaur, or Allen Stark will weigh in with advice. They train hard, and know a lot more about what it takes to fuel the tank.

I think you have already done a good job! :applaud: I can't think of anything to add to the advice you have already given. It makes sense to me!

Celestial
September 22nd, 2014, 08:33 PM
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jpetyk
September 23rd, 2014, 07:32 AM
:lolup::lolup::lmao::rofl:

Swimspire
September 23rd, 2014, 10:44 AM
Swimming certainly makes me hungrier! I just published a guest post by nutritionist Lauren Trocchio on this topic and she has some great advice on how to find the right balance! www.swimspire.com/swimming-weight-loss-activity-exercise-futility/ (http://www.swimspire.com/swimming-weight-loss-activity-exercise-futility/)

smontanaro
September 23rd, 2014, 11:57 AM
I'm not sure what's wrong with you people. Everything makes me hungry. :D

orca1946
September 23rd, 2014, 02:15 PM
OK I admit I'm always hungry - so swim season at least makes me think about what I eat!