Real food while swimming

MikeHMikeH Member
edited July 2014 in General Discussion
I'm experimenting with real foods to augment (maltodextrin-based) feeds on long swims - and interested in ideas the community has tried and enjoyed...?
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  • ZoeSadlerZoeSadler Charter Member
    I get really hungry during freshwater swims, but don't want to eat anything in the sea other than tinned peaches! We ran out of peaches in the EC.

    In freshwater my favourites are rice pudding (the little Ambrosia pots), mini flapjacks, brioches, mini sausage rolls, Battenburg cake. None of those are very good for me, but they do lift the spirits!
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member
    I'm a fan if bananas when they are allowed on the boat...

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • MvGMvG Brussels (BE) and Lith (NL)Charter Member
    Bananas (ripe!) and Dutch caramel wafers (stroopwafels) are my tried and tested favourites on carb-fueled swims.

    But as I wrote recently in another string, and on the basis of some admittedly limited first personal experiences, once in ketosis it seems one needs much less or no food at all during a swim, as almost all fuel comes from stored body fat. Just a little bite, much less frequently than on carb swims, to avoid an unpleasant empty stomach feeling. I used small pre-packaged portions of cream cheese, but I'm sure other foodstuffs could work also, such as boiled eggs. Only for the keto-adapted though.
  • MikeHMikeH Member
    thanks for the input, guys

    re ketosis, yah, but on my long swims, after about 6 hours, my stomach needs something that isn't maltodextrin or my love handles being burned down : )...
  • GordsGords Salt Lake City, UTCharter Member
    Some of my favs: Ripe Banana, Peanut butter and Jam sandwich on white bread, chicken nuggets and Buzz Bites. Not all at once :)
  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaGuest
    I use peanut butter sandwiches on a brown bread as well as bananas. I've recently introduced a macca chocolate bar which has some green tea in it. Cantelope and bananas are also good.
  • MikeHMikeH Member
    I've had good results with jelly babies, Cadbury's, etc and other hard-core sugars...but am looking for something else.

    Porridge sound worth a try; thanks.

    How do the peanut butter (and jelly) sandwiches go with salt water - soggy bread? Are you guys making bite-sized sandwiches?
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member
    I love soft roasted sweet potato chunks as a primary source of fuel.

    I also love putting a few servings of homemade blueberry/peach batter cobbler in my feed bag for a halfway treat. The cobbler is essentially roasted fruit with a tiny bit of sugar, butter and flour, but tastes amazing.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member
    Miso soup.
    And gummy bears. Do those count as real food? :)
  • This thread is awesome. But here is my newbie, stupid question:

    Do you roll on your back to chow and continue to keep kicking or go vertical, shove it down and continue on? What size portions are you taking in during the feeds, a mouthful or several?

    Thanks for any information you're willing to share!

    Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member
    @OnceaRunner that's all personal. What and how you feed. It can/will even differ at the beginning when you're fresh and at the end when tired.
    You'll just have to try out what's best for you.
    DanSimonelli

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • JanetJanet NYCMember
    I've used mostly "real foods" for my feeds since I started doing longer swims, and have never tried the various powdered stuff. For liquids, my standbys are flavored milk (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or nutmeg/honey if doing warm feeds), diluted fruit juice (usually apple/raspberry), and ginger/mint tea sweetened with agave syrup.

    I've also experimented a lot with semi-solid concoctions, which I started out thinking of as homemade gels. My favorites have been figgy pops (a mixture of fig preserves, graham cracker crumbs, hazelnut-chocolate spread, and marshmallow fluff) and pb&j pops (peanut butter, quince jelly, whole wheat bread crumbs, lightened with a little marshmallow fluff). I store these in push-up popsicle molds , which are basically a capped plastic cylinder with a movable bottom (like a really big syringe with an untapered, needle-less top). They're pretty easy to eat on the water--I just take off the top (or have my kayaker do that), then push up the stick to shove the stuff in my mouth. These are easy to make in a food processor, and you can adjust the ratio of ingredients to taste or caloric requirements. The marshmallow fluff lightens up the mixture and makes it easier to swallow. Sometimes I add milk or fruit juice to get the consistency I want.

    My favorite new feed this year has been banana pudding (the traditional southern kind, made from Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding, and meringue). It does fine in the popsicle molds, but does have to be kept cold because of the meringue. I've also used those squeezable packages of baby food--my fave is pear puree, but I've also tried other combinations of fruits and vegetables and grains. Other foods I've tried out on the water include cubed watermelon, peaches, chocolate pudding, rice pudding, pureed chicken sandwich, kefir, crumbled oatmeal-ginger cookies, and sugar cookies with flat Coke. I liked them all except the kefir (too acidic) and the watermelon (hard to eat--need to dice it finer).

    I'm looking forward to trying out new feeds next month during Swim the Kingdom week. I've been intrigued by some ideas in the book "Feed Zone Portables", which tends to do a lot with sticky rice concoctions, pancakes (sweet or savory), and eggy things like fritatas. The serving suggestions in the book are geared more towards land-based endurance sports, but I think that small portions of many of them would pack well in my popsicle molds for in-water consumption.

    Finally (sorry for the long post!), the trend for home-made baby food has generated products that might be useful for swim feeds. These reusable ziplock bags with spouts look like they would be good for pudding/porridge/puree type food. With a food processor, you can puree pretty much any food you like, add liquid if needed to get it to an easily swallowable consistency, and try it out on your next swim!
    JBirrrd
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Janet said:

    I've used mostly "real foods" for my feeds

    Having crewed for Janet, I can say that her skill at organizing the distribution of this menu is awesome, and leaved little work for topside. A detailed list and color coding completes the process.
    DanSimonelli

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • suziedodssuziedods Charter Member
    And she makes the MOST fabulous cookies. It was one of the many pleasures of 8 Bridges 2012.

    Looking for the next big thing.. ... @suzieswimcoach www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com

  • MikeHMikeH Member
    Great ideas, thanks! I'll try these out, particularly the push pops.
  • I've eaten soggy peanut butter bites dipped in EC water. yum yum. I do remember how well I felt when my crew handed me a half of a ripe avocado diced but still in the shell. I scoped it out with my hand it I really swam well for the next feed.

    Sisu: a Finnish term meaning strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity.

  • heartheart San Francisco, CACharter Member
    In 2011, I alternated between mashed potatoes and mashed fruit (kiwi, strawberries) in bags. Despite the consistency, chewing complicated the swim and took a lot of time, so it's malto all the way. YMMV.
  • PattiPatti Member

    For me the easiest and best source of calories for my metabolism etc are nut butter, toddler food and Perpetuem. I I used to make my own feeds but its hard to keep it from spoiling and it was hard on my crew to prep. Pre-packaged, 'clean' (no preservatives) food helps me to keep my feed regimen simple.

    Here's a blog with a bit more info https://www.ikeepswimming.com/news/ikeepswimming.com/news/2017/7/11/swimming-with-sharks-marathon-swimming-salesforce-2

    evmo
  • My experiment with real food and delivery system shown in the photos below from a swim this past Monday. This worked well for a four hour swim and this is the third time I've used this recipe - equal parts water, coconut water, and almond milk, as well as bananas, avacados, protein power and raw eggs (zoom into the photo for the quantities). By my calculations 225 calories per 6 oz packet. Recipe credit to Asha Allen; I think this is an accurate account of the ingredients.

    Observations: 1.) No cramps during my swim, even though I didn't take any electrolyte pills. Eureka! (Also had one Berocca tablet in a water bottle too....) 2.) First time I used the squeeze pouches; they looked small at first but at 6 oz it is a good quick easy feed. Portable enough to pack along in the suit, come to think of it.

    I want to try this feed in sub-60 water to see if I can go longer before bonking; gu and perpetuum and ketosis haven't worked for my lower % body fat composition. Your stomach can handle large volumes, but I think I read 6 to 8 ounces is a good ideal volume for comfort.

    IMG_20170731_101234 IMG_20170731_101640 IMG_20170731_110915

    evmo
  • A better description of ingredients for my adjacent post: 2 Bananas, 8 oz water, 8 oz almond milk, 8 oz coconut water, 3 avocados, 1 scoop 150 cal protein powder, 3 raw eggs. 1500 calories/7 pouches = 225 calories per 6 oz 'yummi pouch'. Half of the calories are from the avocados; does that sound correct?

    evmo
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member
    edited August 3

    michael_miller said: IMG_20170731_101234

    I like how Putin is watching you prepare your feed.

    But...Putin does not need Muscle Milk!

    Copelj26
  • loneswimmerloneswimmer IrelandAdmin

    Because the Irish invented porridge, (not the Scots as they would have you believe), and though I hate it, I've used it a lot including on six hours swims. It's remarkably useful as it can be pre-made and your milk of choice added (dairy, soy, almond etc). It only needs to be tepid, can be made to a loose consistency and goes down like a liquid while retaining the advantages of solid long-chain carbohydrate fuel (hunger satiation, long release). It can even (at least here in the home of porridge) be bought in useful single serving pots (like noodle pots) which only require hot water and a wait, but there's extra sugar in those 9if you are of mind to care about that, which I don't).

    Other good solid foods I've used or have dispensed on Channel swims include ham or cheese slices in white bread (yes, even in salt water) or mixed smoothies.

    And of course there was the guy in Dover a few years ago who would have a (cold) mini-roast dinner in a tupperware container each feed.

    tortugaCopelj26

    http://www.loneswimmer.com The World's Most Popular Open Water Swimming Blog

  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    @michael_miller - those pouches are super super cool! I love to use sweet potatoes to fuel my swims longer than 3 hours (it's been a while, but I know I'll get back there). But I'm also interested now, after looking at your mix, to see how avocado would fit in there and whether it would help keep me from becoming ravenously hungry halfway through a long swim. How did the egg whites do without refrigeration?

    I learned about two months ago that I am severely gluten-intolerant and allergic to wheat, so I have had to rethink literally everything in how I approach food. Found out the hard way the other day that even maltodextrin can cause major issues (in the US it typically is derived from corn, but not always. And it can be contaminated with gluten in some places, so right now all products containing maltodextrin are on the nope list until I learn more or my system stops rejecting everything.) Everything feels like it's on the nope list. Even GF oats are out because I'm strongly reacting to almost all grains at the moment. Rice is it.)

    I am super interested in how others are taking in calories during shorter swims. I've always had to take in calories if it went beyond about an hour and Hammer gel was my staple. I'm going to try peanut butter and sweet potato tonight to see how that works.

  • rosemarymint said: Even GF oats are out because I'm strongly reacting to almost all grains at the moment. Rice is it.)

    There are some great rice ideas in the Feed Zone Portables cookbook. I tried the rice with peanut butter and jelly one year at Kingdom Swim but it proved far too difficult to eat with wet hands. I wonder if I could cram the stuff into one of those pouches.

    ssthomasrosemarymintthelittlemerwookie
  • slknight said:

    rosemarymint said: Even GF oats are out because I'm strongly reacting to almost all grains at the moment. Rice is it.)

    There are some great rice ideas in the Feed Zone Portables cookbook. I tried the rice with peanut butter and jelly one year at Kingdom Swim but it proved far too difficult to eat with wet hands. I wonder if I could cram the stuff into one of those pouches.

    Ooh I bet you could! I tried to make the rice cakes a few times during tri-training, and could never get them to hold their shape anyway, but they were great :)

    rosemarymint
  • JanetJanet NYCMember

    slknight said:

    There are some great rice ideas in the Feed Zone Portables cookbook. I tried the rice with peanut butter and jelly one year at Kingdom Swim but it proved far too difficult to eat with wet hands. I wonder if I could cram the stuff into one of those pouches.

    A product called "Jokari cool pops"--cylindrical popsicle molds with a push-up bottom--work well for rice-based feeds. I've used them with some of the Feed Zone Portables rice concoctions.

    https://www.amazon.com/JOKARI-1605199P3-Cool-Cones-units/dp/B0020ML3WU/ref=pd_sbs_79_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0020ML3WU&pd_rd_r=MGGM2NASHZMNN856BB5N&pd_rd_w=x2Vm0&pd_rd_wg=8OAMg&psc=1&refRID=MGGM2NASHZMNN856BB5N

    slknight
  • Janet said:

    A product called "Jokari cool pops"--cylindrical popsicle molds with a push-up bottom--work well for rice-based feeds. I've used them with some of the Feed Zone Portables rice concoctions.

    https://www.amazon.com/JOKARI-1605199P3-Cool-Cones-units/dp/B0020ML3WU/ref=pd_sbs_79_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B0020ML3WU&pd_rd_r=MGGM2NASHZMNN856BB5N&pd_rd_w=x2Vm0&pd_rd_wg=8OAMg&psc=1&refRID=MGGM2NASHZMNN856BB5N

    I will try them out. I consider you the queen of real food while swimming!

    Janet
  • IronMikeIronMike Moscow, RussiaCharter Member

    rosemarymint said: I am super interested in how others are taking in calories during shorter swims. I've always had to take in calories if it went beyond about an hour and Hammer gel was my staple. I'm going to try peanut butter and sweet potato tonight to see how that works.

    Rosemary, I used Justin's Nut butters during 20 Bridges. I bought the sampler pack of 7 different ones. A bit bigger than a Gu pack, but nice and tasty treat. 1.15oz per pack, 190 calories.

    rosemarymintoceanpackrat
  • rosemarymintrosemarymint Charleston, SCCharter Member

    IronMike said:

    rosemarymint said: I am super interested in how others are taking in calories during shorter swims. I've always had to take in calories if it went beyond about an hour and Hammer gel was my staple. I'm going to try peanut butter and sweet potato tonight to see how that works.

    Rosemary, I used Justin's Nut butters during 20 Bridges. I bought the sampler pack of 7 different ones. A bit bigger than a Gu pack, but nice and tasty treat. 1.15oz per pack, 190 calories.

    I used one yesterday along with some apple sauce. I nailed my nutrition yesterday (however short yesterday's swim was compared to what it used to be) and I credit the peanut butter packet for that! Glad to know it also works well for you!!

    pavlicovIronMike
  • rosemarymint said: @michael_miller - those pouches are super super cool! I love to use sweet potatoes to fuel my swims longer than 3 hours (it's been a while, but I know I'll get back there). But I'm also interested now, after looking at your mix, to see how avocado would fit in there and whether it would help keep me from becoming ravenously hungry halfway through a long swim. How did the egg whites do without refrigeration?

    Since the eggs were raw, I put the pouches on ice. I've read a couple different places that it is not a good idea to eat raw egg whites because it affects your biotin/vitamin B-7 levels. Next test batch with pasteurized egg whites and egg yolks. The scan below is from the last unconsumed pouch at end of day 6. Had one yesterday and the pouch can be sealed to keep the air out. The dark portion is overflow above the zip lock, exposed to air.

    There was one other ingredient I forgot to mention - a dash of Basil Hayden's bourben whiskey, just happened to be nearby, just to the left of Putin in the photograph.

    feed pouch day 6 __

  • jnewton116jnewton116 SingaporeMember

    Cannot advocate for avocado enough. I'm a huge fan of them anyway, I've always been the kind of person who is perfectly happy to sit down with an avocado and a spoon. I do 1/4 an avo once an hour in addition to the malto feeds and find that in addition to providing a yummy boost of healthy fats, it coats my mouth in a way that combats the saltwater. Also, doesn't really need much by way of chewing.

    For those of you who love peanutbutter instead of Gu, maybe try Buff Bake pouches. It's a high protein peanut or almond butter in some super tasty flavors like red velvet and snickerdoodle.

    IronMikeflystorms
  • swimrn62swimrn62 NY, NYMember
    edited August 8

    The OP didn't define long, and I've never swum over 8 hours so never had the need for real food, but if I did, I suspect I would enjoy sweet potatoes & peanut butter and jelly on white bread for solid food. But I want to try Janet's rice confection one day if I manage a longer swim.

    Having said that, with a serious sweet tooth, after a few soggy, baggie tries, I found the perfect way to dispense jelly bellies and peanut (butter or not) M & Ms during (and after) my swims. Those Rubbermaid Chug bottles (smaller 14 oz size) are perfect to keep the candies dry and dispense just enough in the mouth as needed.

  • ssthomasssthomas DenverCharter Member

    After Lake Powell and now Lake Champlain- I don't think I'll go on another really long swim without risotto. It's warm and savory- the perfect compliment to sweet liquids. It's rice, so it digests easily and sits so nicely in my stomach.

    I have a Feed Zone cookbook, too. I've tried some of their portables that are made of rice. I can't get them to hold shape well, so I haven't tried them on a swim. If you're more skilled than I am at cooking things, I think they'd be good options on swims, too!

    IronMike
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