/ Health

How to Fuel Your Swimmer for A Big Blue Swim Lesson

There is so much that goes into achieving a Big Moment at Big Blue, from the hard work of your swimmers to the consistency and dedication of our Swim Associates. But have you ever wondered what snacks might best fuel even the littlest swimmers through a successful 30-minute lesson?

As parents, we know that kids can go from totally content to suddenly starving in an instant. And inevitably, that time hits when you’re getting everyone ready for swim lessons. While we can dismiss the old wives’ tale of waiting an hour or more after eating before getting in the pool, it is important that swimmers don’t get weighed down right before lessons with a heavy snack or meal. Within the hour before swim lessons, it’s best to provide a small, light snack and save the bigger meal or treat for after swimming.  

Although your swimmer is not yet ready for Olympic-level training, you should think of something appropriate for fueling athletic activity before coming to lessons to keep energy up and limit potential upset tummies. This should include water for hydration, easy to digest carbohydrates, and a small amount of protein or fat to feel just full enough throughout the lesson. Some ideas for a great pre-lesson snack could include:

  • Light, carb-based snacks to provide energy like a handful of pretzels or crackers, or small piece of toast or sandwich
  • Fresh or dried fruit, such as a banana, apple slices, or raisins
  • Small amounts of protein or fat such as a handful of nuts, nut butter, or a cheese stick

Most importantly, you want to avoid weighing down your swimmer or feeding them something too rich that might create a full or upset stomach. This can put them at a higher risk of getting sick in the pool if they were to accidentally swallow water and activate their gag reflex. Things to avoid before swim lessons (or any athletic activity) include:

  • Foods high in sugar or fat, such as candy, chips, donuts and donut holes, or desserts, like cookies or brownies, can cause a quick spike and then crash, ultimately making your child feel sluggish
  • Fast food options like fries or nuggets, while convenient, are not a healthy or light choice before activity
  • Heavy dairy products, such as macaroni and cheese, ice cream, cheesecake, cream cheese, sour cream, milkshakes, or foods high in butter or cream, which may be difficult to digest and cause upset stomach
  • Fiber rich foods such as beans and leafy veggies are part of a healthy diet but can upset digestion during athletic activity  

So next time you’re getting your swimmer ready for their weekly lesson, remember the goggles, towel, and a smart snack to help fuel them to their full potential!