Masters of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


Objective: Use a case-study approach to explore blood glucose recovery times of collegiate female swimmers after swimming 1 mile and consuming different foods. Subjects: Four collegiate female long-distance swimmers ages 21 and 22. Procedure/Methods: Glucose tolerance testing indicates glucose impairment levels in the body while remaining minimally invasive. The swimmers reported at 6 am on different days, having only water for at least 4 hours prior to the study. The participants performed a prescribed warm up activity, then had their blood glucose levels measured using a Care Touch glucometer and McKesson 28G lancet before swimming 1 mile. After swimming, each swimmer had their blood glucose levels measured a second time and were given their assigned food source (bananas, clementine oranges, Gatorade chews, or water). Participant’s blood glucose was retested every 15 minutes until it returned to their pre-activity level. Results: Bananas aided glucose recovery the fastest. Bananas recovered a swimmer in approximately 45 minutes ±15min., clementine oranges in approximately 60 minutes ±15min, water in approximately 75 minutes ±15min, and Gatorade chews in approximately 90 minutes ±15min. The Gatorade chews took longest due to the creation of a blood glucose spike and valley because of a lack of fiber to slow absorption of the glucose into the blood stream. Conclusions: This case study demonstrated that bananas appeared to be the most efficient food source to aid glucose recovery and Gatorade Chews were the least efficient. Recommendations and Future Inquiry: While the study yielded excellent initial results and shows the potential for bananas to be the recovery food of choice for female collegiate swimmers, additional research should be done before this can be concluded. Future studies should require participants to repeat the test with each variable to allow for them to be their own controls. Finally, a larger sample size is warranted.


Dr. Matthew Kutz

Second Reader

Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy