21 May 2021

When Should we Eat After Training?

A lot of people, when thinking about training or working out tend to forget about the nutrition and meals needed - especially post training - with the focus on the workout itself, with eating as an afterthought.

Most of our swimmers bring water to their training, which is great, but not enough! Water will keep the body hydrated and at an ideal state to train, as well as replenishing water lost through sweat.

Many swimmers, upon finishing their training, will throw their drinks bottles in their bags, and leave, potentially having a meal when they get home, although they may have already had a meal before, so won’t eat until lunch, or not eat at all!

However, after training our bodies are still working, long after we’ve stopped training. During the session our bodies drain their supplies of glycogen (what our bodies use as fuel) and our muscles get broken down and damaged, which is then repaired using our stores of protein.

What does that mean for us? Well, we will need to resupply ourselves with carbohydrates – to make glycogen; as well as proteins – to repair muscles, very soon after training!

Studies have shown the most effective time to consume these nutrients is within 45 minutes of ending training. And essential before 2 hours! Which is a fairly short window if a swimmer takes 15 minutes to get changed, then any more than 30 mins to get home!

We would encourage everyone in our Speed Through Technique sessions, especially those attending Monday and Saturday to have a snack with them to eat on the drive home, straight after leaving the pool!

What should we eat? Healthline.com suggests a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins, and provide the following examples: Carbs:

  • Chocolate milk
  • Fruits
  • Rice cakes
  • Oatmeal Proteins:
  • Eggs
  • Yoghurt
  • Protein bar

We do NOT need a full meal on the way home, only a snack. An ideal size would be a chocolate milkshake and a protein bar. Or fruit with yoghurt. Not a triple sausage and egg muffin, like Evan!