On this page you will find general information on nutrition & the importance of good fluid intake, along with further information to make you aware of issues surrounding possible iron depletion in swimmers as well as a link to Anti-doping rules.



The following information was from a talk given by the Sport Science Officer at Stirling University and really sets out how swimmers need to be fueling their bodies. Pre & post pool snacks should be kept handy and drinking fluids depending on demands of the session. Water or Squash for low level technique and endurance, using fingers on the side of the bottle to gauge how much you drink. High carbohydrate drinks for intense training, sprints, at competitions when you have a lot of back to back events. Also to take a snack approximately every 3hrs to maintain glycogen stores.

Nutrition and Training for Performance

Carbohydrate Snack List

Iron (see further information on Iron Depletion in section below)

CHO, Iron and Protein List

Further information on nutrition for swimmers can be found by referring to the following swimming.org weblink


Importance of Fluid Intake

The IOC link for nutrition below includes info on fluids and what athletes should drink and when:

IOC Consensus Statement on Sports Nutrition

Further infromation is detailed in the link below:

The Importance of a Good Fluid Intake


Iron Depletion

Swimmers & other athletes involved in regular intensive training programs can quickly deplete iron stores and are at risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia, a condition where there are not enough red blood cells (or haemoglobin) in the body.

Haemoglobin (which contains iron) is the compound in the blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and organs in the body. Since we all need oxygen to survive, and the muscles need oxygen to work effectively, having a normal haemoglobin/iron level is very important for an athlete wanting to perform well!

Iron problems can have a big impact on performance. Reduced oxygen carrying capacity will decrease your maximal aerobic capacity, lower endurance, increase fatigue and compromise your immune system. Athletes may complain of less power, getting tired easily, loss of appetite, frequent injury and may have recurring illness like colds.

These athletes, and in particular, female and adolescent athletes, have higher iron requirements than non-athletes. An athlete may develop iron deficiency either due to inadequate dietary intake, inadequate absorption or increased iron loss.

Follow the link for further information/advice on the Importance of Iron in Swimmers.


Anti-Doping Rules 

Whether by accident or on purpose, doping is against the rules of the sport. Check the information contained in the following link to the Scottish Swimming website for more information on anti-doping. 

Please find below an update following the latest change by Scottish Swimming surrounding anti-doping / medical declaration

 Anti-Doping & Medical Declaration

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