Dining Out for Athletes

The season of hard work is winding down. Hopefully you are resting more and fine-tuning details to help you swim as fast as possible during the upcoming Championship Meets. Yet, all of your hard work can be wasted if you don’t properly fuel your body for performance during your meet!  Listed below are a few things to consider:

  • Plan your menu now. Write down (or make a list on your phone) where and what you plan to eat. This will save time and help you fuel properly. Think through this carefully-some of you will have 11 meals out.
    • Thursday Lunch, Thursday Dinner
    • Friday Breakfast, Friday Lunch, Friday Dinner 
    • Saturday Breakfast, Saturday Lunch, Saturday Dinner
    • Sunday Breakfast, Sunday Lunch, Sunday Dinner
  • Aim to include bright colors (fruits and vegetables) with every meal. These contain vitamins and minerals that help you perform at the highest level.
  • Pre competition meals should be relatively low in fat and protein. Focus on carbohydrates which will give you energy. Your plate should consist of 50% carbs, 25% lean protein, 25% veggies, plus fruit and healthy fat (1-2 tablespoons healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil)
      • Breakfast examples: Whole Grain toast, nut butter, banana, berries and/or apple sauce. Yogurt with granola and berries. Oatmeal with berries or dried fruit. 
      • Lunch examples: Sandwich with whole wheat bread, lean meat, greens of choice, tomato, plus carrots, grapes and apple slices.
      • Dinner examples: Quinoa/Rice Bowl with chicken or salmon, choice veggies and fruit. Whole wheat pasta with meat sauce and salad. Salad with lean meat and choice fruits/veggies, baked potato, whole grain bread. 
  • Think ahead. If you grab a sandwich for lunch, order two. Save one for a snack before finals or even lunch the following day. You can rest more if you aren’t spending extra time eating out. Grab fresh fruits and veggies for your hotel room to supplement when dining out.
  • Order water for your beverage. Sodium content is often much greater when dining out. Get a refill of water to-go for extra hydration.
  • Avoid high-fiber foods such as broccoli, beans or high fiber cereals which may take longer to digest and can cause upset stomach. Avoid high fat content such as fried foods, ice cream, nuts and excess cheese. Avoid sugary drinks. 
  • Never try new foods during a meet. 
  • Huntsville Restaurants (near the pool) with healthy options: