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Tasting Love In The Open Water

When you eat your favorite dish of your grandmother, chow down a barbeque meal prepared by your father, or devour your mother’s mouth-watering pies, your taste buds are embossed in sensations that are indescribably familiar and satisfying.

The effort, time and skills in preparing a delicious meal is not insubstantial. The Japanese, well-known for presenting elaborate dishes, describe it as “making food with ai (love)”.

In Japan – like elsewhere around the world – husbands, children and guests can literally taste the love that goes into the food.
Similarly, when an open water swimmer bites into their favorite cookie in the water or swigs on their morning coffee as they stand on the shore, familiarity and satisfaction are the overwhelming sensations.

So instead of a packaged gel pack scientifically formulated with the optimal carbohydrates, fats and proteins – however optimally nutritious it is or is marketed – some athletes enjoy the familiarity and satisfaction of foods, cookies or meals prepared with love on their feeding stop.

Because your performance is so dependent on one’s mental outlook and level of confidence, while the impersonal metallic packaging of gel packs has its place in the nutrition formula of open water swimmers, so does your favorite and familiar comfort foods fueled with love.

Please send us stories, recipes or descriptions of your favorite foods for the open water swims and your all-time greatest pre-race or post-race meals – and the stories behind them via email to

And sometimes formulated foods give way to junk food with results that are meaningful for that particular swimmer: Read about John Muenzer‘s English Channel crossing fueled with potato chips. Read about Bruckner Chase‘s Oreo cookie-aided swim here.

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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