Fueling for a Swim Meet- Infographic

September 14, 2016

Fueling for a Swim Meet- Infographic



Full text with extended details and information below. 

Click here to download a printable PDF for meet day! 


  1. Aim for a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio over the course of the meet day. Sports nutrition studies tell us that this combination of carbs to protein is ideal for fueling optimal performance. 
  2. Aim for a balance of 50% simple carbs to 50% complex carbs. Too many simple carbs will spike your athlete's blood sugar leading to a rush of energy followed by an untimely crash. The last thing you want is your athlete crashing just before a race. Simple carbs increase blood sugar quickly, while complex carbs release more slowly leading to more sustained energy. 
    1. Simple Carbs- simple sugar, fruit, white grains/pasta/rice
    2. Complex Carbs- whole wheat bread/grains/rice
  3. Limit Fats as they sit in the stomach and take a long time to digest, slowing your athlete down. 


  • Avoid eating within 45 minutes prior to the start of the race. Digestion requires 30-45 minutes depending on the food and you don't want your athlete digesting while racing. 
  • Refuel within 30 minutes post raceStudies show there is a 30-minute window after activity when muscles are most receptive to nutrients for rebuilding. Effective recovery will ensure your athlete is primed to be their best for the next race. 


Breakfast- Focus on a balance of carbs to protein. The 4:1 carbs to protein ratio is a good target for breakfast.

  • Eggs and whole wheat toast with jelly
  • Bagel with cream cheese
  • Whole grain cereal (Raisin Bran, Cheerios)
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Pre-Swim Snacks- Skew heavier towards carbs with this meal/snack. 5:1 or 6:1, carbs to protein is okay here. Remember, finish eating within 45 minutes prior to any race.

  • Nutri-Grain bar, cereal/oat bar
  • Orange, apple, fruit cup
  • Sports drink
  • Cinnamon raisin bagel

Post-Swim Snack- Skew heavier towards protein with this meal/snack. 2:1 carbs to protein is a good target here. Remember, ensure your athlete eats within a 30 minute window post race.

  • Turkey or PB&J sandwich
  • Protein shake or meal replacement (may need to only drink ⅓ or ½ as these are typically designed for adults)
  • Chocolate milk

**IMPORTANT**- Ensure your athlete stays hydrated by drinking water throughout the day!

Questions? Email us: hello@shopherofuel.com

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