Performance nutritionist Laura Salmon's top tips for all aquatic sports

It is important to have a healthy relationship with food.

Performance nutritionist, Laura Salmon, has put together her top three favourite nutritional tips which can apply to all aquatic sports.

Laura has been working with Swim England to develop a new educational resource to help club-level aquatics coaches support athletes who may be struggling with eating disorders.

When asked about her top tips, she said: “The main thing is about enjoyment of food.

“It’s really easy to get dragged into what others are doing and they may have unhealthy relationships with food. So be bold, be independent.

“Social media and the influence of others can make it really tricky to know what’s right for you.

“You’re doing the sport because you enjoy it and we want food to have a positive impact on that as well.”

Here’s her top tips…

1. Flexibility and variety

Aim for maximum flexibility and variety around food. Don’t cut out any food groups or go on restrictive diets, especially when under 18, as this is when growth and development are key.

2. Finding what works for you

Find what works for you and try not to compare what you do with what others are doing.

Try different foods so you have an awareness of what foods you like, when to have them, and how much you feel comfortable with.

3. Enjoy your food

Foods are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Foods like chocolate and crisps should not be demonised. Nobody is ‘bad’ for having a chocolate bar.

Although athletes want to fuel for performance, they are not machines. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet includes not just fuelling the body to compete, but nourishing body and soul.

So, as well as generally nourishing your body by doing things like getting enough energy and having your five a day, eating foods you enjoy, like ice cream, can nourish the soul and benefit mental health and wellbeing too.