When we swim, our body is loosing liquid and electrolytes as any other physical activity. For this reason, we must ensure a correct hydration plan.

Before start, be sure you are well hydrated, without being thirsty. Thirst is the first symptom to a deficiency of water, and can be the first of a chain of problems, as strength lost, muscle cramps or worst things.

When you do more than one hour of activity, it will be necessary to bring a can of wáter or isotonic drink. If you swim in the sea, you can use safety buoys to bring drink with you. And remember, water from the sea, from lakes or rivers it is not safe for your health.

At the end, you can recover eating fruit like melon, watermelon, oranges… that will help to raise your body liquid reserves, at the same time that help to get energy.

Try to avoid alcohol drinks, as alcohol is a dehydrating toxin.


Before start, it is better to eat food that gives you energy (high in carbohydrates), a minimum of 3 hours before the start. Try to avoid food high on fats or fiber, as them provoke a slower digestion.

If your crossing is longer than one hour, you should eat foods of easy digestion and high energy. We recommend you to try foods you are going to use in competition during your trainings, so you will feel if it is good for you. Do not experience on the race day!

When you finish, it is needed to recover part of the energy spent, as electrolytes and vitamins. Isotonic drinks, fruits and high protein food should be the base of your post-swimming meal.

Try to drink and eat slow when you finish, as it facilitates your recovering process.

For last, ask a nutritional professional how to plan accurately your drinks and meals.

4.a Forecast: sea conditions are not always stable. Be sure you know the forecast, the public recommendations (as colour flags) or other things that will let you enjoy of your swimming time.

4.b Company: always swim with someone. It will be more fun and safe.

4.c Visibility: be sure you are visible in the sea. Use live-colourful wear and safety buoys and everybody will see you (swimmers, safe-guards, boats).

4.d Level: before start to swim open waters, be sure you have enough level of swim in the swimming pool. You need to do homework in the swimming pool before enjoy the sea.

4.e Warm up: before start, to some articulation mobility exercises and start with low intensity swim styles.

4.f Route: try to follow the route marked. Don’t overpass buoys to avoid swimming in boats circulation areas.

4.g Equipment: sometimes, you need to use specific equipment, as wetsuits (for low temperatures or jellyfish presence).

Swimming was born as a surviving practice against aquatic environment, dangerous for human people.

Necessity of moving was vital for prehistoric tribes, and sometimes they needed to overcome natural obstacles as rivers, lakes, beaches…

Since XVIII century, it was not funded the first Swimming organization. It was made in Englanc, called the National Swimming Society, and was a society that wanted to understand swimming as something more than surviving in the water. It was the flowering age of sports.

That way, first races where organized in rivers and beaches, and with the pass of time, in swimming pools.
Then, in the first modern Olympic games, Athens 1896, swimming was one of main sports, and organizers decided to celebrate all races in the sea, because they wanted to safe money not investing on swimming pool equipment.

Nevertheless, it was not before 2008 in Pekin Olympic Games that Open Waters were considered a specific sport, not depending on FINA (the responsible of swimming competitions in the world).

Nowadays, we can find a lot of variety in Open Waters, with races from less than 1km to authentic swimming marathons of more than 25 kms.

Picture of an old swimming race

In Spain, we can highlight a few swimmers like Kiko Hervás or Erika Villaécija, who was the only national representant in the last Open Waters Olympic Games race.

We would like to highlight other swimmers like David Meca, who popularized long distance crossings, like Jávea-Ibiza, or the amazing swimmer Margarita “Tita” Llorens, a “purist” swimmer (she doesn’t wear wetsuit) who did other crossings like Ibiza-Mallorca.

Swimmer Margarita “Tita” Llorens