A sprint swimmer's diet

Hey everyone,

This blog post has been written by an old University swimming friend of mine who has got back into swimming shape after having 3 years off.

He used to final at the university BUCS swimming competitions. We both wanted him to write something on this blog and so here it is!

Over to you Warren…

Hi all

Firstly I'll introduce myself, I am a 50m swimmer and have known Nye for around 6 years now after training and competing together at Exeter University. I now work full time as a Quantity Surveyor in Exeter and manage to train 6 times a week on top of this and part time degree. I only recently started training full time again after having 3 years off of swimming. In this time I basically went to the gym 2-3 times per week and basically did non-competitive power lifting, unfortunately in this time my body weight went up by around 12kg (however, some of this would have been lean mass) but have managed to work 6kg back off in the past 4 months.

I am writing this blog as quite a few people have been asking me about my diet as I take a keen interest in its effects on wellness and body composition. I thought I would share on Nye's website to go out to more people on a fast growing site!

So here is a general daily plan when I want to reduce my bf% but maintain lean mass and train hard:


Super shake: 50g whey protein, 100g frozen green vegetables (spinach, broccoli or kale), 100g frozen berries

This is a great way to start the day, I probably get more nutrients in this that some people would get in a whole day. The whey is a fairly standard protein source, the green veg and berries gives me lots of vitamins and minerals needed for the day. Generally most people will find the sound of putting veg in a smoothie disgusting but, you can’t really taste it over the whey and the berries so it’s a no brainer for me!


50g nuts or some leftover meat from the night before


150g fish (mackerel, tuna or sardines) or 300g chicken breast, salad/veg, grapefruit

At lunch I either have a portion of oily fish or a lean protein source such as chicken or tuna. Oily fish gives me plenty of omega 3 fats, EPA, DHA and vitamin D, they are fairly salty but not too bad in general. If I go for chicken I buy in bulk from the local cash & carry and cook the night before and bring to work with me.


Another super shake or 3 eggs and/or carb source such as 50-100g oats.

This is open to how I feel i.e. if I need a carb source to train. Will normally ensure I get at least a small protein source included in this meal.

Post training:

25g whey and 0-30g carbs from fruit.

Standard post training whey protein and fruit such as banana, apple or dried fruit to replace energy. Sometimes I'll just have the whey.


200g meat or 3-4 eggs with salad/ vegetables. Sometimes have a small carb source such as sweet potatoes.

  Fairly simple protein based meal. This is usually had at about 2100-2130 so is small prior to bed.

I will also stress here that sleep quality is vital as being tired increases ghrelin levels which artificially increases appetite i.e. Gives you the munchies! This makes obtaining your body composition levels much harder so I target a minimum of 8 hours sleep each night.

As stated this is a routine which I follow when I am trying to lower my bf%. When I am looking to maintain weight I will add 50g – 100g of nuts or organic peanut butter to breakfast and pre training and add another carb source in somewhere – this effectively increases my calorific intake by 500-1200kcal and gives me a little more energy.

Healthy mealFinally, take note that this is only an example of what I eat and what works for me, I don't recommend that anyone copy this to the exact quantity; instead experiment with what works for you. I would also be happy to answer some questions on supplements, something which I have not gone into here.

I recommend the following authors for further reading:

  • Robb Wolf
  • Loren Cordain
  • Mauro Di Pasquale
  • Craig Pickering (100m runner/ bobsleigh athlete who has several blogs and interviews on nutrition on the web)

Any question, please let me know!


Thanks Warren!

I want to quickly add that a Paleo diet is hard work and many of you might not be able to make the lifestyle changes necessary and as you know I am not a huge fan of 'diets' that you cannot maintain for the long term. Some manage to go Paleo permanetly but they are very focused and dedicated.

It is a great idea to take from it parts that you like however as they will likely help you lose weight and become healthier! Vegan protein would be my choice rather than Whey but bear in mind everyone is different and has different choices.