Q: What should the swimmers eat before and during a meet â€“ what should they avoid?
A: Your swimmer should eat foods rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are classified into starches, which are found mainly in grains, legumes (beans), and tubers (potatoes); and sugars, which are found in plants and fruits. The carbohydrates containing the most nutrients are found in unrefined grains, tubers, vegetables, and fruit, which also provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Carbohydrates are burned during metabolism to produce energy.
Avoid foods made from refined sugar, such as candy and soft drinks, which are high in calories but low in nutrients and fill the body with what nutritionists call empty calories.
Before a meet, eat a light breakfast such as cereal, toast or fruits, enough to give you some energy, but not so much that you feel too "full"to swim. During the meet you may also want to snack on fruits or foods containing grains to sustain your energy.
And...drink plenty of water! It gets pretty hot on that pool deck between events. Also stay in the shade and wear sunscreen.
During our HOME meets, we cook a lot of breakfast foods, as well as offer standard swim meet fare (hot dogs/hamburgers, etc) for sale. Most away meets offer these items also.