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Swimming

Swimming of all levels and disciplines utilises all the major muscle groups in the body. The sheer nature and intensity of all swimming disciplines demands the body is fuelled correctly through a structured nutritional programme.
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Box 1

Intro

Competitive swimmers often follow very demanding schedules with gruelling training loads, early morning training sessions and minimal rest between sessions. Training is based on stroke efficiency and physical endurance. As stroke efficiency is often the first thing to suffer when a swimmer becomes fatigued, it is essential that they use their energy stores efficiently to help maintain form and technique. In order to maintain energy levels swimmers must combine a well structured training routine with a detailed diet plan to ensure available energy is used effectively when it is needed the most and there is always something left for a sprint finish.

Box 2

Helpful Tips

Energy to swim

As with any sport, swimmers need adequate carbohydrates to fuel their exercise and replenish glycogen stores in the muscles after training. When muscle-glycogen concentrations are low performance will be negatively affected and exercise will feel more difficult than it should. Carbarley is an extremely effective carbohydrate drink which can be consumed before, during and after exercise to great effect. As a rapid source of energy, Carbarley will fuel exercise and also energise the Central Nervous System (CNS) which helps maintain muscular co-ordination and technique.

Fuel to aid recovery and help growth

As swimming uses most of the major muscle groups within the body, it is quite clear that the stores of energy used during swimming will doubtless be left drained and exhausted. It is, therefore, advisable to consume large amounts of protein and carbohydrates directly after exercise. Recovery XS combines protein, carbohydrates and a number of other excellent ingredients to help promote recovery after exercise and replenish energy stores within the fatigued muscle. The nutrients included in Recovery XS have been proven to improve recovery and help the body repair itself from the damage incurred during intense exercise. HMB can help prevent the breakdown of muscle as a result of intense exercise. The sheer intensity of competitive swimming and the volume of training involved can often cause the muscle to be broken down for energy, however HMB is a great tool to prevent this.

Improving performance

Once the basic components of your diet are in place, such as carbohydrates and proteins, it is useful to look at products that can enhance your performance and push your fitness beyond your opponents. Caffeine is an extremely effective stimulant which has been shown to improve exercise intensity, increase adrenaline levels and boost mental focus. This can be a great tool for swimming especially in sprint events where reactions and all out effort are required.

Looking after your body

Vitamins play a huge role in helping the body recover, stay healthy and also flush out any unwanted toxins or free radicals. A comprehensive multi vitamin such as Alpha Men (Super Multi Vitamin) should be a part of any serious athletes' daily supplementation. Avoiding injury or illness is extremely important for any athlete. The essential fatty acid content of Super Omega 3 offers a variety of health benefits including reduced blood cholesterol and the promotion of healthier joints.

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