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Regular practice of an endurance sport such as swimming increases micronutrient losses, leads to the appearance of cramps and aches and causes inflammation and muscle damage. Athletes wishing to limit these harms must follow a suitable supplementation program.
Competitive swimmers need more advanced sports nutrition to exceed their performance. Indeed, high-level practice requires: optimization of muscular and neuronal recovery, improvement of glycogen and energy synthesis, strengthening of joint and tendon protection and better muscle repair and better anabolism.
The fundamental supplements
Multivitamins: Taking a daily multivitamin supplement helps avoid deficiencies and protects immune cells which are destroyed by free radicals generated during exercise.
Taking vitamins also improves muscle recovery following a swimming session and helps reduce nighttime cramps (1-2).
Multiminerals: Taking a multimineral daily helps avoid deficiencies , reduce inflammation and muscle damage , particularly thanks to zinc and selenium (3) and protect the bones thanks to magnesium (4.5).
Omega 3 : Daily intake of omega 3 reduces cardiac stress and fatigue caused by repeated workouts (6). They also help reduce the harm caused by muscle aches and improve recovery by strengthening antioxidant defenses (7,8).
BCAA 4.1.1: Taking BCAA improves recovery after exercise by strengthening muscle protein synthesis. Taking at least 5 g of BCAA before training reduces the level of aches and accelerates their disappearance (9).
Creatine: taking creatine accelerates recovery by minimizing muscle catabolism , protecting cells against the damage of free radicals (thanks to its antioxidant action) and promoting the storage of muscle glycogen .
supplements for training
Protein supplementation after training promotes muscle fiber repair by improving muscle protein synthesis and facilitating muscle glycogen resynthesis (10). Musclewhey is a blend of native whey and native whey isolate: this are fast-assimilation proteins suitable for taking right after training to accelerate recovery.
Adequate supplementation with quality carbohydrates is crucial both in preparation for a swimming session and after it in order to optimize recovery and compensate for the drop in glycogen induced by exercise (11). Oats are a carbohydrate suitable for improving recovery after exercise and helps limit the drop in tone which degrades sports performance the day after a swimming session.
Type 1 Collagen
Although swimming provides benefits for cardiovascular health, this discipline does not have positive effects on bone strength and density according to the scientific literature (12). Like all other athletes who train regularly, Swimmers are particularly vulnerable to injuries and pain. With this in mind, supplementing with collagen becomes essential to maintain good performance. Collagen promotes the maintenance and protection of the bone structure and promotes the lubrication of the tendons. The latter thus allows better prevention of acute aches and tendon pain.
Cluster Dextrin® is an ideal carbohydrate taken pre- and intra-training because it does not weigh on the stomach thanks to a very short passage time in the stomach. This dextrin is also assimilated very quickly by the body, which provides an immediate energy supply (13).
Intense swimming training has negative effects on the nervous system. It is during sleep that the latter is regenerated, but the quality of sleep of athletes is generally impaired because of the nervous tension caused by training. One way to counteract this phenomenon is to supplement with zinc and magnesium. These minerals combined together in the form of pidolates provide relaxing effects promoting better sleep and better muscle and nervous relaxation (14). ZMB is a supplement combining magnesium and zinc pidolates and vitamin B6 specially designed to improve nerve and neuronal recovery.