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What makes a good swimming recovery sandwich?

What makes a good swimming recovery sandwich?

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So we fell short of persuading our in-house nutrition and exercise scientist that sandwiches were a fantastic healthy snack to compliment your swimming.

But we did get him to come up with a few great sandwich ideas to use as recovery food after a swim!

Eating after exercise is vital. Your body immediately needs nutrients to repair muscles and replace energy so it is recommended you refuel between 15 to 30 minutes after training.

Recovery food means carbohydrates to replace lost glycogen and provide the energy to synthesise protein which delivers amino acids to repair muscles and boost the immune system.

But it’s not an excuse to overeat – don’t refuel like an athlete unless you’ve trained like one.

So, without further ado, here are the ins and outs for your perfect swimming recovery sarnie!

BREAD

  • Two slices of bread will suffice – remember this is a recovery snack.
  • DO eat whole wheat or whole grain bread in your sandwich.
  • DON’T eat white bread in your sandwich.

It’s a simple case of carbohydrate differences – whole wheat and whole grain bread contain your dose of starchy, complex carbs which longer for your body to synthesise than the simple carbs in white bread.

SPREAD

  • DO opt for sparingly applied natural butter if you’re using spread.
  • DON’T use your typical supermarket branded margarine or salted butter.
  • A small amount of flavoured spread like mayonnaise or mustard is fine but make sure it’s low fat and again use sparingly.

Many marketed spreads and margarine brands are created from vegetable oil which usually means they will be high in trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats which create massive blood vessel inflammation and inhibit your recovery.

Instead opt for your natural butter which contains essential fatty acids which actually HELP the body burn fats as well as stimulating muscle recovery and metabolism.

FILLINGS – MAIN

  • DO go for a main filling which is high in lean protein. These include chicken breast, beef, tuna, organic peanut butter, free range eggs or Quorn.
  • DO NOT use cheap, processed meats like packaged ham or processed cheese.

It’s all about the lean protein with your main filling and the above foods are full of it. Processed meat contains e-numbers and chemicals so the best type of meat is a quality cut – preferably by your own hand!

Organic peanut butter is a fantastic filling because it doubles up with protein and essential fatty acids. Finally, buy free range eggs which have a hugely improved biological value than those from battery-caged hens (the practice of which will become illegal in 2012).

FILLINGS – SECONDARY

  • DO throw any type of salad or vegetables in your sandwich.
  • DO use cheese – but as a secondary filling.
  • DO use a sprinkle of black pepper.

Lots of dos and not so many don’ts for secondary fillings! Raw salad and vegetables are full of nutrients, anti-oxidants and fibrous carbs so take your pick!

Cheese is fine (not the processed packaged ‘fake’ cheese you see on American cheeseburgers) but try and make it low fat and not the primary filling.

Finally, a sprinkle of black pepper will raise your internal body temperature and speed up the fat burning process.


Further Reading

  1. Head to Nutrition Zonef or tips on maintaining a healthy diet.
  2. Head to Competitive for tips on what to eat around competition and how to maintain your blood sugar levels during training.
  3. Leave a comment below or head to Ask an Expert with a specific question about your nutrition.

Useful?

Talk

  • 2

    3.48pm 23rd August 2013
    Stegeman from SY5 9QN

    I am 78 year old male a vegie (ovo-lacto) for almost 30 years and a carer so cannot keep up with Stephen from Dunfirmline but do the best I can, being the same weight for the last almost 50 years (saving on clothes).  I find housework good exercise and it is tiring but has to be considered as part of my own training regime.
    Colin

  • 1

    7.40pm 1st December 2011
    stephen from dunfermline

    I’m overweight and keep fit 3 days a week
    my averge workout is
    15 mins bike
    15 mins xcross trainer
    5k jog machine
    30 mins upper body weights
    30 min swim
    works out about 2100k/cal burned
    my collegue is a semi pro cyclist and says you should eat a low or 0 fat diet within 2 hours of workout
    i think your sarnies will b ideal for me with homemade soup
    smile

Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

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