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Swimming question
CREATED: 03/16/09 by dratnip REPLIES: 9
dratnip    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 21
Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 7:20 PM

I've been trying to improve my swimming for the last 6-9 months, and I'm running into a serious obstacle. After every swim, I find I have serious bloating/indigestion that lasts for 1-2 hours. (Oddly, the only thing that makes it go away is to lie down for 10 minutes.) This can be very painful, and frankly, it's making me wonder how I'm going to carry off 2 more events after the swim section.

Ideas??? Thoughts??? Magical solutions??????

lotus975    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 33
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 9:16 PM

do you think it's what you are eating prior to swimming? do you swim in the morning? i find my stomach is always upset in the morning before a swim. eating really bland food like bread and bananas seems to help.

dratnip    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 21
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 9:20 PM

I swim in the late afternoon, actually. And I'm always careful not to eat for at least 2 hours beforehand. Maybe I need to de-acidify my diet? I.e., less caffeine?

michaelrobbins's ravatar michaelrobbins    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 16
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 9:26 PM

I have a theory here - I think it has to do with your breathing. Pay close attention to see if you are inadvertently swallowing water and air when you breathe. This could result in the bloating and indigestion.

Solution - change your breathing.

- Michael

dratnip    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 21
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 9:39 PM

Yeah, thanks. I've been trying to be conscious of that, but I will try to focus extra hard on the breathing.

kstepie1    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/16/09 11:32 PM

I swam all through college and do some private lessons for triathletes and I am also a physical therapist and triathlete. I have never really heard of bloating after every swim. I tend to think its not what you are eating if you are pretty conscious of what you put in your body before a swim and wait a whole 2 hours, things should be pretty well digested. What are you drinking while you swim? Water or juice/gatorade? Do you eat the same thing before every swim? I would definitely cut out citris things before a swim. Is after a swim the only time you experience the bloating? I would agree it could also be your breathing, are you rolling and letting your head follow you hips/shoulders or gasping for air with your head rotating alone? The other thought is that you may just be working really hard. I have definitely felt indigestion after a really hard swimming workout. If your diaphragm (core muscle) is working really hard because your breathing is labored and technique isnt effecient, it could cause some indigestion as well. Hope this helps!

karlaj's ravatar karlaj    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 215
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/17/09 2:10 AM

Eating beforehand or immediately after is bad for me. I also swallow plenty of pool water during swimming if I'm not careful, which can make things worse.
I've had some luck using gatorade instead of water (you may be losing lots of salt sweating in the pool and massively depleting your sugar storage), tums, and slowing down & backing off yardage. Nothing works 100% for me, but all have helped at times.

trithis73's ravatar trithis73    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/17/09 9:22 AM

I agree with almost everyone here. Eating to soon will cause stomach tightness, not so much bloating. Monitor your water/gatorade intake, cause if you are sucking in water while you are swimming, then you are putting all that in your stomach at once. The only way to limit the taking in of the pool water is to REALLY harp on the technique aspect. I can't tell you how much my swim times have dropped with the proper stoke, as well as breathing efficientcy. As for advice on breathing while swimming, that is preferential. Some will say breath every stroke, others every 3rd stroke, I like every 4th storke(even when I am racing). It will all depend on what you feel most comfortable. Get the technique down, and the rest will pretty much fall in place, also make a log, and see if there are specific things actually making the bloating. There is a slight chance it is diet.

dratnip    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 21
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/17/09 10:18 AM

Thanks, everyone. Great suggestions.

bcfrank's ravatar bcfrank    JOINED: 3/23/09    POSTS: 1098
RE: Swimming question
POSTED: 3/27/09 11:02 AM

I agree with a lot of the things said here. I would say it breaks down into two areas: whether you're swallowing a lot of pool water in which case technique is the key or it's something in your diet in which case the answer is more complicated.

My reason for replying though is to make one simple suggestion: if this happens every time you swim, just try eating a Tums or antacid of choice right before swimming. Tums are good because it's added calcium, but that very well could reduce the bloated feeling in your stomach.

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