“Might Have Some Parents Coming After Me”- Katie Ledecky Debunks the Biggest Myth About Swimmers Eating Habit

Published 06/11/2022, 8:30 AM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 31: Katie Ledecky of Team United States (R) is congratulated by Simona Quadarella of Team Italy after winning gold in the Women’s 800m Freestyle Final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

One certainly comes across a countless number of myths daily. Some of them are based on half-truths, while others are plain lies. Katie Ledecky busts one such myth about swimming during an appearance at a late-night talk show.



Article continues below this ad

Myth-busting has gained traction in recent times. Several channels spread across various platforms devoted to this idea supports this notion. They employ fact-checking tools, science, and logic to inspect these myths and arrive at conclusions.

Katie Ledecky on eating right before going for a swim

But one does not need to refer to these sites and channels when there is an expert at hand. The 10-time Olympic medalist debunked a myth that has prevailed in the sport during a guest appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ last year.

At one point during the show, Fallon asks Ledecky her expert opinion on the myth that one should not go for a swim after meals or wait at least 30 minutes before going in.

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 28: Katie Ledecky of Team United States reacts after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“I might have some parents coming after me for this,” Ledecky joked on the prospect of answering Fallons’ question.

Treading carefully, the three-time Olympian says, “I think we can debunk the myth. You can eat before you swim.”

However, during an interview last year, sports dietician Alicia Glass offered a glimpse of Ledecky’s diet. The expert said that the GOAT eats her last meal at least four hours before her next training session.

Ledecky’s Advice regarding eating habits prior to swimming

However, Ledecky stresses that it is not advisable to consume a big meal right before going for a swim. But she suggests that a snack or a light meal should not affect the session.


Article continues below this ad

Drawing from her eating habits during events, Ledecky said, “I eat granola bars before I swim within, I don’t know, five or 10 minutes before I race.

KAZAN, RUSSIA – AUGUST 04: Katie Ledecky of the United States celebrates winning the gold medal in a new world record of 15.25:48 in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle Final on day eleven of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Kazan Arena on August 4, 2015 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

“I sometimes have two races. In Tokyo, I had two races about an hour apart. And I was eating and drinking, and my second race was the 1500 free. So I had to have something in my stomach to get me through a 15 and 1/2-minute race,” the swimmer added, expounding more on the matter.


Article continues below this ad

It just shows the importance of acquiring the opinions of experts about certain things that call for tackling the issue through a logical approach. Although it could help if one cross-examine these myths personally, it is still advisable to refer to an expert for a thorough analysis of such intricate myths.



Aklanta Chetia

300 articles

Aklanta Chetia Wanniang is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi. With an interest in learning about multiple sports, Aklanta himself is a former sportsperson and has participated in state and national level swimming events.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa