How to fuel outdoor swimming - the best pre, mid and post session nutrition

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With the start of the outdoor swim event season getting nearer, preparation is in full swing for many of us. Training is one part of the puzzle for a successful swim, but it's important not to forget to take care of ourselves through adequate recovery time and prioritising nutrition.

We’ve compiled a list of top tips to help fuel your body for an open water swim.

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Before a swim

If you’re planning to swim for an event, race, or just a long distance, it’s always idea to trial your meal routine beforehand in training. Complex carbohydrates, such as wholegrain toast or oats, allow for a slower release of energy, which is helpful if taking part in a longer swim.

Whilst sometimes nerves can get the better of us, it’s important to not swim on an empty stomach. If solids are too much, then a liquid source of carbohydrates are better than nothing. Elivar's Prepare - Pre-training Energy & Protein Drink (£26.99) provides Low GI carbs to deliver sustained release energy, plus a blend of proteins to satisfy hunger.

Elivar Sustain Go Orange 1800X1800

Mid-swim

Fuelling during swims is vital to replenish liquid that is inevitably lost through sweat. Swimmers should aim to top up their fluids little and often to stay hydrated, particularly during warmer weather.

Sports drinks are useful to not only to stay hydrated, but also to provide a source of carbohydrates and electrolytes that our bodies need when taking part in endurance events. Check out Sustain Go! Release Energy Gel (£19.99 for a box of 12), a unique blend of fast and slow release carbs to deliver a sustained release of energy.

Active Root

Post-swim

After all the hard work, refuelling and rehydrating should be the next priority, helping to avoid any crashes and promote healthy recovery.

Active Root’s Hot Winter Warmer(£16.99) is a great way to rehydrate after a swim session or event, particularly one in colder water. Each drink contains a blend of ginger & seasonal spices, which you can take in a flask to enjoy straight after a swim.

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Everyday nutrition

It shouldn’t be just during swims and race periods that we take care of our nutrition, but all year round.

CurraNZ Blackcurrant Extract Capsules(£23.99) are a great everyday supplement to take. Thanks to the anthocyanins found naturally in the blackcurrants, the capsules offer numerous health benefits to boost your immune system, reduce the effects of stress on your body and enhance your fitness and wellbeing. The capsules are actually sport informed, which means athletes who compete can take them as they’ve been batch tested.

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01 Cover May22 Low Res

Issue 61 May 2022

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  • Swimming for Ukraine
  • Explore: London, Copenhagen and Bristol & Bath
  • Yoga for swimmers
  • Understanding the pool clock
  • On Test: Entry-level wetsuits

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