It’s long been held that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while there’s some debate around this point, there’s no doubt that it’s critical for swimmers and other athletes to select the proper foods when starting off their day. Those who live a physically active lifestyle have some very specific nutritional requirements that, if not met, can leave their bodies unable to cope with the strain placed on them by their sport. As it happens, swimming is a perfect example of this: swimmers burn tons of energy as they swim lap after lap, and their bodies need the right resources to counter those demands, which starts with a healthy and hearty breakfast. So, what is a good breakfast for swimmers? To find out, keep reading as the amino acid fitness supplement experts at aminoVITAL® dive into this topic.
The Importance of Carbs in a Swimmer’s Breakfast
In any number of modern diet plans, carbs play the role of villain, with many even advocating for the total removal of this macronutrient from people’s diets. For swimmers, in particular, this would be a bad idea; carbs are one of the most important nutrients a swimmer could get, and they absolutely have a place as part of a good breakfast.
Unlike some sports, such as football, that place emphasis on strength and size, swimming is all about speed and stamina – two things that require plenty of energy. Because they’re easily converted into glucose (the body’s preferred form of energy), eating carbs is the most effective way to top off the tank before a swim meet. That said, not all carbs are created equal.
When choosing sources of carbs for your breakfast, it’s important to prioritize complex carbs, such as those from whole grain foods, over simple ones, like sugary breakfast cereals or white toast. The simpler carb sources are essentially useless to a swimmer at breakfast time because they cause a fast and fleeting spike in energy and blood sugar that dissipates before long, leaving you to crash. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are recognized for the extended energy they provide. These carbs take a lot more time to digest, so they release glucose into the blood at a much steadier rate, keeping you fueled for hours at a time instead of just right after breakfast.
Should Protein Be Included in a Good Breakfast for Swimmers?
Any serious athlete has heard about the importance of protein as part of a regular diet, but as was mentioned earlier, swimmers tend to have unique nutritional priorities. Compared to a center on the basketball court, linebacker on the football field, or boxer at the gym, swimmers don’t generally need that much extra protein in their diets because their goals don’t have to do with building lots of muscle mass. Still, there are some definite advantages to including protein in your breakfast, especially if you have a meet later that day.
Protein is known as a resource that’s essential to the creation of new muscle tissue, but it has a ton of benefits to offer your existing muscles as well. The protein you consume will be broken down into amino acids that can then shield your muscle tissue during exercise, helping it to avoid some of the damage that a tough workout inflicts. These amino acids can also be used as fuel by your muscles when your glycogen stores run dry, and they’ll boost the process of muscle protein synthesis, which is how your muscles repair damaged areas. Although the bulk of your protein intake should probably be saved for after your swimming practice or competition, they also have a place at the breakfast table as a means to protect and power your hard-won muscles in the pool.
Can Taking Supplements with Breakfast Help Swimmers?
Most experts recommend getting your nutrients from whole foods, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for supplements when you sit down to enjoy a good breakfast. Those athletes who have to load up on calories and carbs – namely, swimmers – to stay competitive can sometimes have little room for other nutrients, such as protein. That’s where supplements really shine: as a way to boost your intake of nutrients without forcing you to eat more.
The pre-workout amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL® exemplify this strategy. Just add a packet of our Action mix to a glass or bottle of water, and you can get 2.4 grams of our amino acid blend, which includes the three BCAAs along with glutamine – known to fight soreness – and arginine – which promotes blood flow. By using one of these supplements with your breakfast before a meet, you can provide your muscles with the resources they need to operate at peak efficiency and limit the damage done to them while you’re swimming.
Perhaps the best benefit for swimmers, though, is the way these amino acids fight fatigue. When swimming, your muscles soak up the BCAAs in your bloodstream, which allows more tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain. That tryptophan then turns into serotonin, which is believed to cause exercise-related central nervous system fatigue. By ensuring that your body has plenty of BCAAs, you can ward off this fatigue and stay focused when it matters most.
Try an Amino Acid Supplement as Part of a Good Breakfast for Swimmers
Getting your body ready for the rigors of swimming isn’t always simple, but with amino acid supplements from aminoVITAL®, the process can get a little bit easier. Whether you take one of our supplements before or during a competition or add our Rapid Recovery mix to your post-swim routine, aminoVITAL® has something to offer. Learn more by visiting us online or calling (888) 264-6673 today.