Swimming is a great low-impact alternative to running, and let’s face it, those balmy heated pools can feel like paradise in the dregs of winter. Next time you’re feeling like you just can’t face another run on icy streets with that biting wind in your face, no sweat! Head over to your local Y or rec center (and don’t forget your Xtrainerz 😉) for a workout that’s just as good, minus the hypothermia risk.
Swimming, while still being an awesome cardio workout, is a very different sport from running, and you may have some questions on how to properly refuel after your swim sesh, or keep your energy levels up throughout the day. We’re bringing you a few healthy snacks and meal ideas for swimmers to ensure that you’re always at peak performance, in or out of the water.
Baked Potato: Yes, baked potatoes can be healthy, filling workout fuel! They’re rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. How healthy (or not) they depend entirely on what fillings you put on top. So skip the sour cream, and instead opt for broccoli and ham, beans and salsa, or tomato and pesto. Have fun experimenting with different types of potatoes and learn which you enjoy most - from sweet potatoes to purple potatoes, each carries a different baking consistency, carb ratio, and nutrients!
Whole Wheat Pasta: Complex carbs are key for staying energized all day as a swimmer, so good news: pasta is encouraged. Make sure to use a lighter sauce as opposed to something heavy and creamy, such as alfredo. Throw in some veggies, such as peppers, and a lean protein like chicken or turkey, and you have yourself a satisfying meal. Check out a yummy broccoli and chicken sausage version here.
Grain Bowl: There are a million different ways you can style a meal out of one simple ingredient: grains! Start with a base of brown rice or quinoa to make sure you’re getting the most nutrients possible. Channel your inner health guru with a kale and sweet potato bowl (plus chickpeas for some grams of protein), or throw on some jalapeños and Mexican chicken for a southwest take!
Omelet: An omelet is a great breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner option! Pack it full of lean protein and veggies to keep you feeling full but not weighed down. Protein is SO important for athletes, as it helps support muscle recovery and growth. So, it makes sense that you enjoy one for a post-swim meal. Check out an awesome mushroom and spinach version here.
Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats you can snack on throughout the day to keep your diet rich and varied while still keeping your energy levels up. You could even opt for a nut butter packet instead, as these are easy to take on-the-go. Make sure to keep your servings small and be aware of any added sugars; nuts are still very high in calories.
Hard-Boiled Eggs: These are the perfect protein pick-me-up after a long day spent in the pool. While it may come in a small package, hard-boiled eggs are an easy and filling snack. Go the traditional route with salt and pepper, or throw on some hot sauce for variety with a kick.
Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit & Honey: Yogurt is jam-packed with different nutrients such as protein, calcium, and probiotics, making it the perfect sweet treat. Stay away from those with too much added sugar and throw on some fresh fruit and honey for a natural sweetener and flavor.
Jerky: Turkey or beef jerky are perfect examples of a quick, portable snack you can take anywhere. This is perfect for that swimmer who craves something a little more savory and flavorful.