Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary


Nutrition plays a vital role in the life of a swimmer due to the demanding nature of swimming training. Very few other sports involve such intense training at such young age, therefore without adequate nutrition; fatigue, tiredness, reduction in performance and an inability to concentrate at school can quickly occur in the absence of adequate nutrition. Swimmers of all ages are constantly at risk of the detrimental effects poor nutrition can have due to a constant increase in intensity, frequency and duration of swimming sessions as swimmers progress through the age groups.

Eating and drinking like an elite athlete is a lifestyle, not a short term diet plan that you only stick to for upcoming competition. Optimising your performance through adequate nutrition requires knowledge, commitment and organisation all key personality traits found within elite athletes.

The nutrition resources provided within this section are designed to provide you with a basic and practical understanding of important elements of swimming nutrition. The information provided is generalised and in certain situations may not be appropriate for every swimmer, therefore we recommend you consult your local Sports Dietitian for tailored advice or submit a question to our upcoming “ask the Sports Dieitian” section.

We hope to continually provide more information sheets in the coming months so be sure to visit back here shortly!

Dane Baker (PG Dip Dietetics, BSc Nutrition, Dip Sporting Performance)
Dane is the lead nutrition provider for New Zealand swimming. He is a Sports Dietitian for High Performance Sport New Zealand where he is also the lead provider for NZ Men’s Hockey and the Football Fernz.
Dane is also the Sports Dietitian for the Chiefs Super Rugby Franchise and runs a private practise clinic at Unisports Sports Medicine in St Johns Auckland.

Surviving the buffet

Find out what’s good and what’s not so good at the buffet, a vital skill for competing swimmers to maintain ideal body composition during competition.

Sports Nutrition for Swimmers

Here you can find the everyday role of nutrition to prepare swimmers for training and enable them to perform to the best of their ability.

Eating out

Here you can learn what good options to choose from if eating out at different ethnic restaurants; this can be a needed skill when home and especially abroad


Key tips of travelling athletes

This sheet is designed for athletes travelling for competition, for those just travelling within New Zealand the snack ideas for travel can help with ideas of what to pack.


Race day nutrition

Find the key elements of what you need to eat and drink to be at your best on race day!


Recovery Stacking

Here you can find some simple guidelines and ideas to include for recovery snacks. It is also important to remember that meals such as breakfast and dinner can be included as part of the if eaten soon after a session (<30mins).