Hotel Rottnest port to pub nutrition tips
David Bryant - Sports Dietitian, Catalyst Nutrition and Dietetics
You may not have given it much of thought before, but swimming in a heated pool, a steamy indoor pool, or an outdoor pool on a hot, sunny day can lead to loss of fluid through sweat. As you are in the water, it is difficult to perceive your fluid loss during a swimming session.
The effects of dehydration during exercise on physical and mental performance include:
- Increased heart rate and body temperature
- Increased perception of exertion
- Impaired skill level (eg: swim stroke)
- Mental fatigue that can impact concentration and decision making (a necessity when swimming 20 or 25km!)
- Increased the risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and other gastro-intestinal problems during and after exercise
In light of this, start to incorporate a hydration strategy before swimming sessions. Start your session well hydrated and ensure your urine is clear. While you’re swimming, make sure you have regular sips of fluid in between sets. A good way to monitor your hydration status is to weigh yourself pre and post training. As a general rule, if you lose 1kg in a swimming session, you should aim to consume 1.5L of fluids post training.
Sports drinks, which are often criticised, are actually quite useful during long training sessions (> 90 mins). They are also helpful if you’re training for maximum performance or during competition, as they provide electrolytes and carbohydrates in addition to meeting your fluid requirements.
Most importantly, a sports drink containing carbohydrate will contribute to your hourly energy requirement during your Port to Pub swim (broadly aim for 50g/hour). This means there will be less need to consume solid foods/fuel during the swim, which is often quite difficult in the water and also increases the risk of gastrointestinal upset on race day.