The Three "Ts" of Nutrition

Jun 10, 2005
The Three "Ts" of Nutrition

At Go Swim, we often receive emails and queries regarding nutrition. We are pleased to announce that JERRY FRENTSOS, a Registered Dietician and Certified Personal Trainer (not to mention Ace Swimmer), is now available to help answer those questions and to provide nutritional advice and suggestions geared to SWIMMERS.

Over the next few months, Jerry will be writing several nutrition-related articles for This is his first, and it will introduce the topics he will cover. Please feel free to ask him questions here on the site. If you want to read more about Jerry� amazing swimming career and how nutrition played a role, please check out Jerry's site. And if you want even more nutritional advice, you can order a copy of Jerry� nutritional software program, called Nutrition Intuition. Jerry knows swimming�and he knows nutrition. And we are very happy to have him as a contributor to the site.

The Three "Ts" of Nutrition
Just as there is more to swimming than what you do in the water, there is
more to proper nutrition than three meals a day plus a vitamin. As an athlete, to get the most benefit from the foods you eat and from your training, you need to understand the three Ts of nutrition:

1. How to TIME your food intake
2. What TYPES of foods to eat
3. How many TOTAL calories you need to consume.

Timing of Food
The more often you eat, the easier it is for your body to convert that food to usable energy to increase your metabolic rate. Instead of having three meals a day, try eating nine to twelve times a day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, pre-training calories, during-training calories, post-training calories, dinner, and a snack before bed. Increasing the number of times you take in food will help increase the energy being stored inside your muscle cells and decrease the amount of energy stored in your fat cells. Your body will send you a very simple message to remind you to eat more often. The hunger sensation you experience is your body's way of telling you that you are losing energy from the muscle cells and storing energy in your fat cells.

Types of Food
The second aspect of nutrition relates to the types of calories you consume: carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. This aspect is a little more complicated. Each type of calorie has an important function for performance. Carbohydrates fuel the muscle cells directly, while proteins help regulate the use and function of the energy in your body. Fat provides for the overall integrity and safety of every cell and organ in your body.

Total Calories
Many athletes are afraid to eat the correct amount of calories. Because your muscles burn a lot of energy during a workout and continue to need more during recovery, you require a lot of calories throughout the day. At rest, your body will burn approximately one calorie per minute. During training, your body will burn between eight and twenty calories per minute. During the two hours following training, your body will burn three to five calories per minute. Without knowing the total amount of calories you need, based on your age, height, weight, metabolism, and level of activity, your performance will be limited.

During the next several months, I will provide more articles for the GoSwim site, with more specific
information about the three Ts of nutrition.

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