Michael Phelps, the greatest professional swimmer of all time, explained in 2020 one of the keys to his success: “I’ve always treated my body like a high-performance race car that needs the best fuel. So in the end, it’s all about incorporating the best nutrients.” These words from the GOAT of the pool give us a lot to think about, and it is not necessary to aspire to win 28 Olympic medals to want to give our body the best ‘gasoline’ when we exercise in the water.
The Benefits of Diving into the Water
Swimming is a sport full of benefits. For starters, it is an activity that, as an aerobic sport, can extend life, as shown by this study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine , which concludes that swimming, like other aerobic exercise, significantly reduces the risk of death from general ailments and reduces mortality from cardiovascular problems. Swimming also strengthens muscles, improves elasticity and balance, and can be a great help for those suffering frombback problems.
But the benefits of swimming are not only physical, it also has among its great virtues the ability to stimulate brain function. This is the result reached after conducting a study among adult swimmers, who, after 20 minutes of swimming, improved brain function. And if all this were not enough, it also increases the production of serotonin, one of the happiness hormones that helps fight stress, anxiety and depression, as we can see in this study published by the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation in 2020.
Nutrition: The Swimmer’s Fuel
So it seems that getting in the water for exercise improves our overall physical health and mood. And to give it all and get the most out of those hours in the pool, we will need the best ‘gasoline’, as the great Michael Phelps says. So, what kind of nutrition and supplements do you need to increase your energy and improve your performance?
A scientific study, published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise , analyzed 12 male swimmers and concluded that some experienced chronic muscle fatigue as a result of a lack of carbohydrates to meet the energy demands of training in the pool. Another study from the Mayo Clinic highlights the importance of carbohydrate intake as a strategy to “enhance athletic performance in endurance sports.”
Creatine in capsules or powder
Swimming is a sport that requires a lot of wear and tear. In addition to having to constantly push your body against the water to move, you have to add the energy of constantly getting in and out of the water. As a frequent swimmer, you will know how tiring this is. While it is true that creatine shows its best virtues as a fuel for anaerobic exercise, it is no less true that it can be of great help to improve our speed and our sprints in the water. That is what a study conducted on 18 swimmers, found that those who took creatine for nine days swam faster and in less time compared to those who took a placebo. The recommended intake of creatine is 5 grams per day, and you can find it both in powder and capsules, both forms being equally effective.
The Energy Aminos from foodspring is a supplement with amino acids, caffeine and vitamins. A blend of nutrients that can improve your performance in the pool. You have to keep in mind that caffeine is a very effective pre-workout ingredient to delay fatigue and increase power in our workouts as explained by the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology in this study . Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, analyzed a group of swimmers during different swimming events and concluded that those who had consumed caffeine went faster than those who had taken a placebo.
When it comes to amino acid intake for swimming, the science also seems to agree. This study of 2018 showed that BCAA’s, L-arginine and L-citrulline, allowed test participants to swim faster.
The Energy Aminos from foodspring contain 171 mg of caffeine, 4,000 mg of citrulline and 2667 mg of L-arginine per 20 g, so taking your Energy Aminos shaker to the pool seems like a good idea.
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