By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, April 26, 2020—South Florida Aquatic Club parents and swimmers were treated to an informative and educational nutritional talk Saturday morning.
For more than an hour, University of Miami adjunct professor Adrienne Brown of the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences addressed the nutritional needs for both 12-and-under and 13-and-over swimmers.
Like almost everything else in society, SOFLO has been shut down from swimming in its newly-renovated pool and competing in meets for 44 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, South Florida Aquatic Club CEO and head coach Chris Anderson, his coaching staff and guest speakers have been using the Zoom platform to hold not only remote dryland workouts during the stoppage, but informative webinars such as the nutrition presentation.
“Right now you’re not at the pool six days a week, not doing doubles and unfortunately, not doing competitions on weekends so your diet changes a little,” Brown said. “But you do have control over wise choices, whether it’s cardio, keeping up with dryland or nutrition, which you definitely have control over.”
Staying home around the clock during the pandemic can be stressful and tempting when the refrigerator and cupboards are well-stocked.
“What you are putting in your body is something you have control over now,” Brown said. “Nutrition is 24/7. You can think about your nutrition and how it is going to prepare you for what’s coming in the future.”
Brown stressed how swimmers have more time now so it’s important to be mindful and focus on what they can control. Poor training and poor diet cannot be made up in a few days or day of competition, she said.
“Sound human nutrition equals sound athlete nutrition,” Brown said.
Brown presented a well-planned outline chocked full of up-to-date information for swimmers and parents and covered each topic fully.
The outline featured:
Purpose of food.
Components of proper diet (carbs, proteins and fats).
Food for general health, training and performance.
What to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.
Brown also pointed out that inadequate fueling, in other words poor diet, before and after training, leads to fatigue and poor performance.
She also said if swimmers are eating a balanced diet with lots of variety including a rainbow of colors (fruits and vegetables), supplements are not necessary.
There were also questions about energy drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade which contain stimulants. Swimmers should think about whether they are necessary and if you need them, she said. If so, try to dilute them by packing your water bottle with ice. Cold beverages are absorbed faster. Diluting morning orange juice and other juices was also suggested. Chocolate milk is good for recovery, she added.
Brown said when reading the nutrition labels on food and drinks, common sense should dictate. The fewer ingredients in a product the more natural it’s going to be. The simpler is by far the better. “Look at a nutrition label, it is eye-opening,” Brown said.
“There are no quick fixes or magic pills out there,” Brown said. “Supplements are not going to make you go faster or get bigger. Mindful eating, nutrient density and what is this food going to do for me, are important. Good nutrition equals good training equals good results. The key is establishing lifelong healthy patterns.
“I know you guys are stressed, we are all stressed,” Brown said. “Reach out to your coaches, parents and friends.”
A PDF of the full presentation will be available to parents and swimmers this week, Anderson and Brown said.
SOFLO DRYLAND FUN AND SUCCESSFUL
Dryland training continues to be a success for swimmers who are working out in their garages, living rooms, laundry rooms, bedrooms, front yards and back yards.
Ethan McPeek of Silver Group continues to win the ingenuity award. For his tubing sessions, McPeek was looking for a sturdy base for his stretching drills and got the idea to tie his tubing to a fire hydrant near his home. In Friday’s session, McPeek found himself at his grandmother’s house without weights so decided to borrow her 3-pound weight which Anderson called “Granny’s weight.” It still got the job done.
Anderson had some fun with Silver Group suggesting they use their siblings if they didn’t have weights. One swimmer did ask if he could use his little brother. Another wanted to use his dog, but then added the dog was 43 pounds so it probably wouldn’t work. It started to rain during the workout but that didn’t deter the swimmers. Anderson just moved indoors to finish out the session.
“We are implementing things because we are home now and obviously your lives have changed,” Anderson said.
The Silver Group did a similar workout to the seniors which was held an hour before. Both groups did drills from jumping rope, planks and chest presses to overhead extensions, arm swings and palm walk-ups. The focus was working on core, cardio, building speed and athleticism.
“This is going to burn guys, you are going to feel it eventually,” Anderson said.
“Coach, it actually feels like a Friday,” said one swimmer. “That’s a good thing, it’s getting to feel normal,” Anderson said.
“Excellent work guys, excellent work,” Anderson said at the end of the session.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org