What Foods Should Swimmers Avoid & What To Eat ?!

Many things can influence the swimmer’s performance, including how rested they are or if they have warmed up before the practice. However, there is one more thing that is very important for swimmers and that can make a huge difference in their performance – their diet.

So, what foods should swimmers avoid before a swim? Additionally, what food is recommended for swimmers?

There are certain foods that swimmers should not include in their diet, while most attention needs to be paid to pre-swim meals if the swimmer wants to avoid nausea and bloating during the actual swim. Foods that are very sugary, very spicy, or contain lots of fibers are only some of the foods that swimmers should generally avoid especially before a swimming session. 

What Foods are Good for Swimmers?

A swimmer’s diet can be a bit restrictive. Many spicy, sugary foods are not easy to digest and can therefore cause bloating and heaviness when swimming. While excluding such foods from their diet can limit their options, there are many nutritious and delicious foods for swimmers to use as part of their diet. (Source)

It is worth noting that not all swimmers have the same type of metabolism. Swimmers with sensitive stomachs can experience digestion problems even after a simple meal, whereas other swimmers may never experience digestion problems no matter what they eat or drink.

A good example of this is caffeine. Some swimmers have reported that having caffeine before a swim makes them jittery and shaky. However, many swimmers feel that caffeine gives them the much-needed energy boost without any side effects. (Source)

So, a swimmer’s diet is not always a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. The best thing would be for a swimmer to have a balanced diet with meals that are simple but high in nutritional value.

If you want to take your swimming experiences to the next level by improving your diet, here are the foods you should look into:

Chia seeds 

Chia seeds are a great option because they are rich in protein, carbohydrates, and omega-3 fats. They are quite versatile as you can prepare them in several different ways. If you have a swim coming soon, you should try preparing a chia seed pudding or perhaps even a healthy chia seed and fruit smoothie. 


Quinoa is rich in antioxidants, making it a great option for people who want to keep their cholesterol and sugar levels in control. It is safe to eat every day, while it takes only a few minutes to prepare. Combining it with some salmon will make for a great after-swim lunch, while you can also try to make some quinoa and kale salad.


The deep red color makes beetroot quite recognizable. It is one of the healthiest vegetables that swimmers can use to get energy and endurance boosts.

It encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut while also juice raising nitric oxide levels in the body which may increase blood flow, strengthen muscle contraction and improve lung function.

Whether you boil and eat it or use it to make juice, it makes no difference. As long as you have it as part of your diet, you have nothing to worry about. 


Oats might taste a bit bland on their own, but they are very healthy because they contain a lot of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This is why you should consider them for your diet. You can try mixing them with some protein-rich milk to make them taste better. You can even try different types of milk, like coconut or almond milk, to see which makes your oatmeal taste best.


Eggs are a great choice for swimmers because they help with muscle recovery after swimming. They are a real protein bomb that tastes good in combination with most vegetables or meats. Whether it is in the form of an egg salad or a simple omelet, make sure you have at least a few eggs planned as part of your weekly diet.


Most raw nuts are a great healthy snack. Between swimming sessions, you can take a break to have some walnuts. Since they are rich in vitamins and fibers, they will give you an amazing energy boost to help you perform well when you get into the water again.

Are Bananas Good for Swimmers?

Bananas are recommended for swimmers as well as all athletes because they contain quite a lot of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are a recommended snack because they can keep athletes full but not bloated even when they are working out hard for hours.

Yet another reason why we would recommend you have bananas as part of your diet is that they contain water and can keep you from dehydrating. Even though swimmers are in the water for hours on end, they can become dehydrated as they lose much of their fluids while working out. Bananas can help swimmers stay hydrated and energized, but the bananas should be eaten at least an hour before the actual swim.

What One Should Not Eat Before a Swim?

Certain foods can make a swimmer feel drained, bloated, and nauseous. As mentioned before, anything that contains too much sugar, spice, or fibers is not good for swimmers. (Source)

These are the top foods that should be avoided before a swim Here is why you must not make them a part of your daily diet:

Spicy food

Spicy food is not recommended for swimmers that are actively training because such food can cause bloating and stomach cramps. Furthermore, this type of food can cause acid reflux that will keep you away from the water and onto your bed with serious stomach aches.

Sugary food

Like spicy food, food that contains lots of sugar is also quite difficult to digest. Even though sugar is a necessary part of every person’s diet, swimmers should try to keep their sugar intake at a minimum if they want to avoid digestion problems. Any food that contains a lot of sugar should be eaten at least 2 to 4 hours before a swim or after the swim.

High-fiber food

Foods that contain lots of fibers are also difficult to digest and can make you feel full and bloated for quite a while. If you have a meal that contains high-fiber food before a swim, you might feel nauseous as soon as you get into the pool. This is why we recommend avoiding foods like pasta, beans, or anything else that contains lots of fibers right before a swim.

Also, find out “Why Do Swimmers Eat so Much?

What Fruits are Good for Swimmers?

Most fruits contain lots of minerals and vitamins, making them quite the health bombs. Swimmers are advised to eat fruit, especially those types of fruit that are easy to digest and full of water and nutrients.

While we already mentioned bananas and how beneficial they can be for swimmers, other fruits can be a part of their diet. Peaches and nectarines, apples, berries, and watermelon are only some of the healthy fruits you should eat. 

However, when eating fruits and vegetables, ensure you eat them in moderation. Otherwise, the high dosage of vitamin C and other vitamins can make you nauseous.

If you are a swimmer, whatever food you have as part of your daily diet should be consumed in moderation and never right before or after swim practice.

Try to be mindful not only of the kind of food you eat but also of the way you consume the food and plan your meals.


An extreme triathlete who have competed in dozens of triathlons including IronMans and Extreme triathlons.

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