I’ve always though it was just me, but I am a hungry hungry hippo after I swim. No matter how hard or easy my workout is from the moment I get out of the pool or lake until the moment I go to sleep I.AM.HUNGRY.
I’ve made up a number of excuses for always feeling starving post swim, including:
- Maybe you engage more muscles during swimming than other activity so your body needs more nutrients to refuel?
- I’m a terrible swimmer so I burn 8 million calories trying to stay afloat.
- Okay maybe I’m not terrible, but very inefficient.
- I rarely fuel up as well pre-swim in comparison to pre-bike or pre-run, so it’s only a matter of time before I get hungry.
- It’s mental. Because the whole swimming process takes so many steps (pack bag, get to pool, change clothes, get wet, shower, deal with we belongings, get dressed, sigh) I feel like I deserve a more substantial refuel than I do.
Today Training Peaks’ blog posted an entry called Why Swimming Makes You Want To Eat Your Young. No I don’t have any young, but I know exactly what they mean!
The basic answer is that cold water (pool or lake) triggers our bodies to believe that they are hungry to encourage us to fuel up (gain body fat) to protect us against the cold. The theory makes sense to me, though I wonder why running or cycling in cold temperatures wouldn’t have the same effect. Thoughts?
I must say though, I’m sad to hear that my swim sessions don’t actually warrant the refuel that I crave!