Ocean swimming event nutrition

The time has arrived, your event is here and all those hours training are about to pay off.

You now have a strong nutrition foundation, this week is all about eating for the event.

You can’t guarantee how well you will perform on the day but what you can control is your event nutrition, hydration and energy levels.

Getting your event nutrition right you will feel strong and have positive memories of the day.

The night before your event

The night before the event consume low fibre foods only, and this is the only time it’s not recommended to eat vegetables.

High amounts of fibre are not recommended as they may make you feel uncomfortable during your race.

Foods to eat the night before the event may include:

  • Rice and chicken
  • Pasta and minced beef
  • Quinoa and fish
  • Buckwheat noodles and pork

Tip: Don’t try eating anything new, choose foods you commonly eat.

The morning of the event

It is recommended you consume a light snack 2-3 hours before the event. Snacks should include medium to high GI carbohydrates and a small amount of protein.

Here are some examples:

  • Raisin toast and low-fat ricotta cheese
  • Toast, banana and honey
  • Low-fat yogurt and fruit
  • Muesli and low-fat milk
  • Baked potato and cottage cheese
  • Chicken sandwich
  • Fruit smoothie

During the swim

For any sporting event that is longer than an hour in duration it is important to refuel with carbohydrates during the race.

For any event shorter than an hour your stored glycogen and a pre-race meal is enough to fuel you throughout your race.

Post-race meal

You should aim to eat within 45 minutes to 1-hour post-event. Your post-event meal is vital to repair muscles, refuel energy stores and support the immune system.

It is recommended you consume a meal of carbohydrate and protein to a ratio of 4:1.

Here are some examples of post-event meals:

  • Porridge with mixed berries, maple syrup, 200g yogurt and milk
  • Two thick grainy toast topped with banana, honey and ricotta cheese
  • Chicken and salad burger
  • Fruit smoothie with rice milk, banana, mango and protein powder
  • Two thick slices of sour dough toast with scrabbled eggs, tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms
Subscribe to our Newsletter to get more articles like this in your inbox over summer

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *