Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Not eating after swim practice

  1. #1
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    10

    Not eating after swim practice

    This could be a misconception of mine but I always thought swimmers should be ravenous after swim practice. My son (13) swims for 2-2.5 hours and does not want to eat dinner after practice. He eats about 30 minutes before he leaves for practice but it's not a huge meal. Most days he skips dinner and goes to sleep without eating anything. I am concerned because 1. shouldn't he re-fuel his body after practice? and 2. not sure he is getting enough nutrition to sustain the level of effort that is needed. At the same time I want to trust his body to let him know when and how much he needs to eat. When I ask him he will say he is not hungry. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, RI
    Posts
    413

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    My daughter was sort of like that back when she was on her h.s. swim team. It was interesting, and now about six years later while she's not swimming, that although she may not want to eat in...she's always up for eating out. Offer that to your son and see if he bites. I'm wondering if the hunger, or lack of it, immediately following the workout could be due in part to the amount of pool water ingested? Just a guess.

    Dan

  3. #3
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, GA
    Posts
    2,928

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmom123 View Post
    I want to trust his body to let him know when and how much he needs to eat. When I ask him he will say he is not hungry. Any advice?
    Trust but verify. Proper fueling (before, during and after workouts) are key elements of development and performance improvement. Eat when youíre hungry and drink when you are thirsty, donít typically hold true for athletes striving for peak performance. You and your son should consider bringing this up with his primary care physician or consulting a sports nutritionists.

    You can also check out articles on the web. USA Swimming has some good resources on nutrition and there are a number of hits when googling nutrition for competitive swimmers.

    At 13, your son can do a lot of this research on his own, but you may want to spend some quality time with him looking into this.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  4. #4
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    10

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Copeland View Post
    Trust but verify. Proper fueling (before, during and after workouts) are key elements of development and performance improvement. Eat when youíre hungry and drink when you are thirsty, donít typically hold true for athletes striving for peak performance. You and your son should consider bringing this up with his primary care physician or consulting a sports nutritionists.

    You can also check out articles on the web. USA Swimming has some good resources on nutrition and there are a number of hits when googling nutrition for competitive swimmers.

    At 13, your son can do a lot of this research on his own, but you may want to spend some quality time with him looking into this.

    Yes I tried to do some research but all I found was that the meal after practice should be a balanced meal of complex carbs, protein and fat, nothing about actually NOT WANTING to eat anything. I suppose I can force him to eat it, but I am trying to understand why he doesn't want to eat it. Will check with his doctor also.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    203
    Blog Entries
    274

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    So, some people just don't have an appetite immediately after exertion. I know I usually have to wait an hour or so before I feel like eating a full meal after a meet or a particularly hard workout. I don't think skipping meals is a good thing for a 13-year-old, working out or not though. Is he just not really interested in eating or is he flat-out refusing to eat?
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  6. #6
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    10

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by JPEnge View Post
    So, some people just don't have an appetite immediately after exertion. I know I usually have to wait an hour or so before I feel like eating a full meal after a meet or a particularly hard workout. I don't think skipping meals is a good thing for a 13-year-old, working out or not though. Is he just not really interested in eating or is he flat-out refusing to eat?
    He is not interested. If I make him he will sit there picking at his food for an hour and will eat may be 1/4. It takes him about 45 minutes from the end of practice to get home so its not immediately after. I tried waiting an hour, two and three - he stills says he is not hungry.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe, Illinois
    Posts
    940

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Try a glass of chocolate milk! I would find it hard to not be either hungry OR thirsty, and the chocolate milk helps with carbs, fat and protein, all in one!
    Last edited by Redbird Alum; December 5th, 2018 at 03:02 PM. Reason: spelling


  8. #8
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    203
    Blog Entries
    274

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmom123 View Post
    He is not interested. If I make him he will sit there picking at his food for an hour and will eat may be 1/4. It takes him about 45 minutes from the end of practice to get home so its not immediately after. I tried waiting an hour, two and three - he stills says he is not hungry.
    Does he eat well otherwise? Is he losing weight? Does he have digestive system issues? Track his calories for a week, maybe he gets enough otherwise.

    Is he doing two-a-days? Could be doing too much and be worn out. That kills appetite.

    Does he sleep well?

    Does he understand he needs to eat to maintain energy and recover?

    "Not hungry" =/= "can't eat," millions of overweight people around the world can probably attest to that in some form or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbird Alum View Post
    Try a glass of chocolate milk! I would find it hard to not be either hungry OR thirsty, and the chocolate milk helps with carbs, fat and protein, all in one!
    I was going to suggest that or a protein shake.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  9. #9
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    391

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    It's good that you are taking this issue seriously. Have you consulted with your son's coach? The coach is administering the workouts and is aware of the volume and intensity that your son is swimming. You should get his opinion about your concern. You may also want to consider consulting with your son's primary care physician, as was suggested earlier, to determine whether there are any other issues at play. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Portsmouth, RI
    Posts
    413

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Something else I thought of...

    When my now college-aged son was in middle school and h.s., he played youth, and then on the h.s. hockey team. Since grade school he'd been prescribed Concerta for attention deficit (without the hypertension factor). He only took it once a day, as he would be leaving for school. But, he frequently wouldn't eat his lunch because he said the meds suppressed his appetite. That, in turn, caused him to frequently feel weak during hockey practices right after school because his most recent meal was breakfast eight hours earlier. Obviously your son's issue is much different. I only say all this only to point out that IF/perhaps your son is on some medication it might be affecting his appetite....depending on when he takes it.

    Dan

  11. #11
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    46

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    I agree with the chocolate milk, and about not feeling hungry immediately after heavy exertion. (It may also be that being hungry makes him feel sickish, so he further doesn't want to eat, compounding the issue). Chocolate milk, or something relatively light - cheese & crackers & veg w/ dip, or something.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,456

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    I agree with the chocolate milk and maybe add some protein powder to it for recovery.

  13. #13
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    10

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Thank you everyone for your feedback. We are going to try a chocolate protein shake, a smoothie or a light meal and also try to make something he really likes and see if that cures his appetite problem. He's been sort of picky lately and I'm sure that's contributing to the problem.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    203
    Blog Entries
    274

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmom123 View Post
    Thank you everyone for your feedback. We are going to try a chocolate protein shake, a smoothie or a light meal and also try to make something he really likes and see if that cures his appetite problem. He's been sort of picky lately and I'm sure that's contributing to the problem.
    What concerns me about this is it seems to me you are trying to do this under his nose - like, you're trying to trick him to eat.

    He's 13, if he's at all intelligent for his age he will be able to answer questions for you to narrow down what's actually going on, and also to understand if you explain why proper nutrition is important, especially to a growing teen.

    This isn't like trying to feed a 6-year-old peas.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  15. #15
    Very Active Member Redbird Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe, Illinois
    Posts
    940

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by JPEnge View Post
    ...

    This isn't like trying to feed a 6-year-old peas.
    Man, I HATED peas when I was six... but now I love 'em! Mixing them in mashed potatoes always worked for me!


  16. #16
    Very Active Member mjtyson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    320
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Consider a protein shake. What kid (or, ok, 51-year old) can say no to a PB and chocolate shake. A friend of ours had an issue with her teen (15-16) who was a big runner and, unfortunately who had serious body image issues related to her weight (she, the daughter, thought she was too heavy when in fact she was not, so she skipped lots of meals). She'd come home from school or the gym, after running 5-10 miles, and all she'd have for dinner was one protein shake, which amounted to not many calories. Her mom offered to have her shake ready for her when she got home. Unbeknownst to the daughter, her mom spiked the shake with full-fat heavy cream. She got much-needed calories in her daughter. In fact, her daughter's running and weight-lifting improved. Our friend credited her magic shakes!
    --Mike Tyson (yes, my real name)

    http://blogs.marathonswimmers.org/IronMike/

  17. #17
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    46

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Quote Originally Posted by JPEnge View Post
    What concerns me about this is it seems to me you are trying to do this under his nose - like, you're trying to trick him to eat.

    He's 13, if he's at all intelligent for his age he will be able to answer questions for you to narrow down what's actually going on, and also to understand if you explain why proper nutrition is important, especially to a growing teen.

    This isn't like trying to feed a 6-year-old peas.
    I don't think anyone's trying to sneak in the food, but the kiddo's just had a fairly heavy workout and is in the midst of adolescence - eating *something*, at least, is not really optional here. I agree - kiddo's parent should sit down with him and say "look, you do have to eat something after practice, before bedtime, but clearly the regular dinner isn't working out right now. Here are some options to try [fresh veg, protein shake, soup, etc], what do you think?" Nudging kiddo to try different options will probably help get more information.

  18. #18
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,456

    Re: Not eating after swim practice

    Ask their friends what they eat = peer pressure works!

Similar Threads

  1. Eating
    By Nickel in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: April 16th, 2016, 02:43 PM
  2. Eating before swimming?
    By apollyon in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: March 22nd, 2012, 01:05 PM
  3. Eating too much after swimming
    By mikeychilton in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: September 21st, 2011, 09:28 AM
  4. Question about Pre-practice/meet Eating
    By Skaterbaj in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: September 5th, 2008, 10:56 AM
  5. Does Eating Fish Make One Swim Better?
    By TomBrooklyn in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: October 8th, 2007, 08:24 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •