Tips on Diet for Teenage Swimmers
For proper physical and mental development of teenagers, they need to eat a high calorie diet. However, these calories should come from healthy sources and not some junk food. As the metabolism of body is very high during this time, teens are less likely to store these calories in fat. Active sports such as swimming further increase the calorie requirement of the body. Generally, diet for teenage girls should consist of 2200 calories, whereas diet for teenage guys should consist of 2500 - 3000 calories. However, teens who swim at a competitive level may have to consume as many as 4500 - 5000 calories, owing to their intense workout.
Swimming at a competitive level often involves practicing in two sessions, each lasting for about 2-3 hours. Swimmers usually practice during morning and afternoons. The nature of this practice session primarily depends upon the type of competition the swimmer participates in. Swimming competitions may last from as little as 15 seconds to as long as a few hours. Less duration races require high intensity workouts which build stamina, while long distances races demand higher levels of endurance. A diet of a teenage swimmer must support whatever form he practices.
Generally, a very high carbohydrate diet with adequate proteins and fats is recommended for teenage swimmers. Carbohydrates suffice the high energy requirements of the body, whereas proteins build and repair muscles. However, one must consume complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, which slowly and continuously supply energy. Proteins can come from lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy etc. Nuts, seeds can provide the essential fatty acids. One should also eat large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables to suffice their need of vitamins and minerals.
- Whole grain wheat bread/toast
- 1 Bowl cereal
- Baked beans
- 1 Cup fresh fruit
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Glass Milk
- Half a cup serving of cottage cheese
- Tuna/ turkey/ chicken sandwich
- 1 Large bowl of vegetable salad
- Stuffed pitas
- Whole grain pasta
- Grilled fish
- Lean Steak
- Chicken soup
- Brown rice
- Stir fried veggies
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fresh fruit/ fruit salad
- Fruit juice
- Granola bar
- Low fat, dark chocolate
If a teen eats a well-balanced diet, then there will be no need for additional protein shakes or similar supplements. Also make sure you drink lots of water and fluids to keep hydrated.