This is a guest post by fitness instructor, Theresa Brawner. You can find more great stuff from Theresa at www.diet.st. Thank you Theresa!
As we all know, swimming is one of the most effective workouts you can incorporate into your exercise routine, it works and sculpts your whole body and it’s got numerous health benefits for your metabolism. If you love being in the water and burning calories through swimming, then you’re very well aware of how demanding it can be, as well as how much you need to recharge your batteries after you’re out of the water.
Eating well after any workout is crucial to boost recovery processes in your body, and it’s the same after you’ve spent an hour of swimming laps – hunger will be strong with you. It is important to eat food that will help you get back on track and move on strong into your day, but it is also important to know what kind of products you should eat and when.
Post-Swimming Diet 101
There are many questions regarding when you should eat after you’ve finished your swimming session. We always suggest one simple, but useful tip – listen to your body. Chances are that you will feel ravenous as soon as you step out of the water, which only means you really invested a lot of energy into your workout. That energy needs to be replenished, and it would be wise to do so within an hour after your time in the pool. This 1-hour gap should be used after any kind of workout you do, this rule isn’t limited exclusively to swimming. If you don’t feel very hungry, you can always go for a quick and healthy snack on the go, but do eat something to keep you going.
Also, it’s very important to take care of your macronutrients intake, as both carbohydrates and protein are necessary to enable your body to function normally. Even if you’re trying to lose weight and want to cut back on carbs, they are still the ones that fuel your body and allow it to run properly, so it’s better to ingest some simple, good-for-you carbs along with some much needed protein to keep all the processes of your metabolism under control.
Best Foods for Post-Swimming Munchies
Smoothies and Yoghurt
Yoghurt is great for you, in pretty much any shape and form, as long as it’s not packed with artificial flavoring and sugars. Whatever you mix your yoghurt with, you can’t really go wrong, since it’s pretty much neutral in flavor, and it comes with a world of benefits – it’s a great probiotic and a source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, just to name a few. Whipping up a smoothie to drink after swimming will be refreshing and incredibly tasty, too. You can choose whatever fruit you want (or the one that’s in season), freeze it and then mix it up with yoghurt in a blender for a nutrient-packed drink. Yoghurt and smoothies in general fall more into the category of snacks and in-between meals, but they are an excellent speedy solution for when you haven’t got the time to have a complete meal.
Lean Meats and Fish
If you want to get more protein in after your swimming, then going for any form of lean meats (chicken, turkey, veal) or fish is definitely your best option. There are plenty of ways in which you can consume lean meats, be it in healthy sandwiches with whole-wheat bread, in a salad, or having it cooked, roasted and paired with some veggies. If you’ve got no choice but to order food, there are plenty of healthy meals deliveries that will supply you with tasty food that is just what doctor ordered after your swimming adventure. Just steer clear from salad dressings and too much cheesy goodness, as they will bring more complex carbs that you don’t really need.
Having an omelet after your swimming sessions will give an immediate boost to your metabolism and your muscles will begin to repair themselves quicker, thanks to all the protein that eggs have. If you’re not keen on meat, then eggs are a great substitute for your post-workout meal, they’re filling and really easy to prepare in advance. Depending on your appetite and your needs, combine eggs with some mushrooms, cheese or tomato to get a wholesome meal that is also scrumptious. You can boil eggs and bring them with you to pair with some celery sticks and peanut butter – this combo will maintain high energy levels throughout the day and you won’t have to spend practically any time in the kitchen.
Nuts, Seeds and More
When eaten in moderation, nuts are the best source of healthy fats there is, not to mention fiber and vitamins that are irreplaceable after physical activities. We’ll mention right away that you should always choose nuts that weren’t in any way processed, which means unsalted, unsweetened and if at all possible raw. As for what you’re going to put into your trial mix, it’s entirely up to you – macadamia nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds, hemp seeds etc. If you crave some extra sweetness, go for dried fruit such as dried cranberries, strawberries, pineapple chunks, whatever fits your taste buds best.
Having a healthy post-swimming meal means choosing food that is high in the goodies you need to protect and replenish yourself from exhaustion. The foods and products we mentioned are available everywhere, easy to prepare and really tasty, so there’s no reason for you do reach for some processed snack from a wrapper, when you can prepare and bring healthy food with you and enjoy it at that.
Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st. in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.