To explore the relationship between basal metabolism of the nicotinamide and the athletic ability of the elite swimmers, Sixteen Chinese male athletes participated in the short distance swimming competitions in the 15th Asian Games were recruited. Their morning urine samples were collected three times in a row, once a week in the month before the games, and the metabolite of nicotinamide, N-methylnicotinamide, was measured using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Then the subjects were classified as finalists group and non-finalists group according to their performance in the games, and mean comparisons of the measured results was carried out between the groups with SPSS15.0. The relative concentrations of MNA in the urine from finalists group were significantly higher than from non-finalists group in every comparison (0.0000524 ± 0.0000281 VS. 0.0000195 ± 0.0000131, P<0.05; 0.0000221 ± 0.0000181 VS. 0.0000162 ± 0.0000151, P<0.05; 0.0003831 ± 0.0000373 VS. 0.0000636 ± 0.0000118, P<0.05). Higher level swimmers have relatively higher metabolic rates, which may help to form a more effective energy supplying mechanism and a higher tolerance to intense training and severe competitions.