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Thread: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

  1. #1
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    Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    I have a 17-year-old son who is a professional swimmer.
    Iím wondering, does he need to follow a particular diet or can he eat anything?
    In this photo from Michael Phelpsí Instagram it looks like his diet isnít too restrictive.

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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    He's 17. He should eat as much pizza as possible. Also nachos and cheeseburgers. The nachos should come at least ten minutes before the burgers to ensure maximum sodium uptake. He should also focus on drinking at least 64 ounces of non-diet soda each day, preferably Coke, as it has less HFCS than Pepsi. You may also want to ask him if he'd consider eating fried chicken and/or frozen burritos for breakfast.

    If he's out late with friends, I'd recommend Denny's. The "moons over my hammy" is just full of protein, with eggs, ham and cheese. And the cheesecake for dessert will give him the extra calorie reserves he'll need to make it through two-a-day workouts.

    This is what I ate when I was 17. And now I'm having lifetime best times at 38.
    Last edited by sickfish; May 7th, 2017 at 08:43 AM.

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    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    I may be wrong, but I'd think that since he's a "professional" that the team/organization/entity that he's contracted with might have a dietician or nutritionist on staff, or on retainer, for assisting their athletes with such matters. Just a guess.

    Dan

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    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Jessie, although it appears as if sickfish was overemphasizing a point , the flip side of taking that point seriously is that your son could set himself up for a lifetime of obesity, diabetes and/or other serious health issues if you don't encourage a healthy diet now. He won't be a competitive swimmer forever, so if he sets himself up with bad eating habits now, he could end up paying for it with bad health down the road.

    Obsessing over diet, however, could lead to mental health issues as well.
    If he were my son, I would encourage a healthy, well-rounded diet for a majority of his nutritional intake and an occasional splurges for the rest. As an example, I maintain a mostly healthy diet, but I can't live without chocolate!

    As for Dan's comment above, at least consult with your son's coach.
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessie.bak7 View Post
    I have a 17-year-old son who is a professional swimmer.
    Iím wondering, does he need to follow a particular diet or can he eat anything?
    In this photo from Michael Phelpsí Instagram it looks like his diet isnít too restrictive.
    Keep in mind that Phelps trains so much that he requires about 10,000 calories per day. Typical male high school swimmers require about 4,000 (you should verify this, I am going off of memory) while doing USA Swimming ("Year-round"). I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say he is a professional swimmer? But as stated, I would check with the coach or whatever nutritionist is at his disposal.

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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessie.bak7 View Post
    I have a 17-year-old son who is a professional swimmer.
    Iím wondering, does he need to follow a particular diet or can he eat anything?
    In this photo from Michael Phelpsí Instagram it looks like his diet isnít too restrictive.
    yes he should be on the seefood diet

    see food..eat it

    i wont say how far or how much i was eating at 17, but lets just say that the numbers were astr0nomically huge and our underwater weighing to determine body fat composition said i was 10.9%

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    i wont say how far or how much i was eating at 17, but lets just say that the numbers were astr0nomically huge
    Seriously. A large pizza was a good appetizer.

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    The one year I swam in HS, my dad would buy bags of potatoes and I'd have one or two with every meal on top of what we were eating for dinner. He laughed that he couldn't keep me fed. It helped, for sure.
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    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    5K calories a day is not uncommon for a growing boy. Depending on yardage... calories in and calories out, is a good formula for some guidance. The typically practice burns up about 1200 calories. ...so add that number on top of the daily recommended average of 2500 to 3000 per day and you won't be overfeeding.

    I recall having at least three slices of pizza with a quart of milk at age 17 for lunch...or at the very least (2) tuna sandwiches, bananas, and cookies, and anything else. It got to the point that eating was almost a chore because it took so long!! ...We were swimming about 8,000 to 10,000 yards per day back in the 70's. It was the medieval days.

    This pdf has some good information...
    Attached Files Attached Files
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
    5K calories a day is not uncommon for a growing boy. Depending on yardage
    OMG
    HA HA HA HA
    5000...i must still be growing then.

    5k...at age 17? like kirk said...5k was a nice appetizer.

    my mvn mom - i stayed with a family durning my 5 years there - said that all the money i paid her went to groceries. she said she might have even lost money on feeding me.
    typical breakfast - 4 fried eggs, each with a slice of cheese on it, 4 pieces of toast with peanutbutter and honey, 8 pieces of bacon, 4 bowls of cereal with all the milk. go take a nap, wake up and eat an entire box of crispix cereal dry watching tv until lunch while snacking (in between mouthfuls of cereal) on anything that didnt move.

    8-10k might have been a lot then...but that wasnt 1 of my workouts at mvn and we did 2 on mon,tues,thurs,fri,sat ... yes we had weds mornings off but we also had 2 on saturday!

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    Very Active Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Re: Do swimmers need to eat a special diet?

    Yep, 5K calories a day seems like a restricted diet. Anyone athlete over 200 lbs probably consumes almost twice that just to maintain weight.

    ...I had a few buddies (four brothers) who all swam on our AAU team. (For the whipper snappers, that's the medieval term for organized swim club) lol ...anyway their house had a commercial meat locker in the pantry just to keep them fed.

    But as Elaine said...once the swimming , or whatever stops, so should the calorie intake. If you look at any athlete after their career is over, they blow up like balloons. Basketball players who were once long and lean can get huuuge. I ran into the infamous Shaq at our local grocery store a few summers ago, and his afternoon "snack" was two pounds of deli ham, and a jumbo size bottle of root beer!
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