Pre-swim food: What our coaches eat before swimming

Open water swimming is great exercise; it can burn more than 500 calories an hour! It’s important to fuel the body properly to handle the physical demand and also keep warm.

Our coaches are almost always advocating for swimmers to consume foods such as nuts or nut butter, oatmeal, milk/soymilk, Greek yogurt, granola bars, or tofu before jumping in. In our pre-race and swim letters, we advise participants to keep it small, soft, and warm - like oatmeal and bananas - for maximum digestibility and energy sources. 

But we wanted to know from our experts personally: “What do you eat before a swim?”

“Something light with protein in it. Before this morning’s Alcatraz crossing, I had a smoothie.”
Coach Mike
“I have almond butter and honey on whole wheat toast.”
Coach Rebecca
“I eat coffee. And bananas.”
Coach Jake
“I drink a smoothie that has strawberries, bananas, other mixed berries, water and protein powder.”
Coach John
“I either have oatmeal or maybe a couple eggs. Something light but enough to keep me fueled and filled. And usually, I also have a cup of coffee.”
Coach Angela
“I make sure the night before I have been eating pasta, carbohydrates. But one of the most important things for a long swim is to hydrate. It’s actually more important than what you eat.”
Coach Pedro

The takeaway (unintentional food pun)

Small, soft, and (mostly) warm holds true! Whether you opt for smoothies, bananas, or toast, keeping it small keeps it adequately filling without giving you a morning food baby, soft keeps it easily digestible, and warm keeps it satisfying and serves even as a bit of comfort amid thoughts of cold water. Across the board, each of our coaches balance carbs in grain and fruit form and protein as eggs, nut butters, and powders in their pre-swim fuel and most don't skip morning coffee!

Let us know in the comments what you fuel with before you take a plunge!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.