Last updated on August 31st, 2012 at 05:56 am
Olympians live and breathe their sport. Fueling up for the amount of energy needed to keep up is something this fitness dreamer has an eye on. What does it take to keep moving for hours of training every day?
If you think its all vegetables you might hate, or weird things we Americans may never want near our plate, you would only be partly right. The theme with all the Olympians eating plans is smart eating for what they do. Still, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to inhale chips and cookies while I watch them work their butts off. Then again, isn’t that my job as a spectator?
Dream fitness priorities
The Olympic athletes are human beings with cravings and favorite foods just like the rest of us. The major difference is their mindset that what they eat has to also serve a purpose.
Food = Fuel
This is a reminder I tell myself daily whenever my own pull toward comfort foods – what I take in, I will have to eventually burn off. This is completely opposite from the reality that I live in Sonoma County Wine Country and consider myself a foodie. I guess that’s what all the exercising is for.
Olympians at the table
With a McDonald’s located in the midst of where the athletes are eating, you have to wonder, just what will the Olympians be putting on their plate?
An incredible example of the variations of the Olympian diet is this wonderful Reuters photo gallery that shows the wide range of calories and food options based on the sport – ranging from 1,500 calories for expert female Taekwondo to 3,500 calories for male javelin athletes.
What do Olympians eat?
Kerri Walsh Jennings, from team USA beach volleyball mentions her pre-competition increase of a lot of almond butter and honey sandwiches throughout the day, according to EatingWell.com.
Keep the white and just skip the yellow entirely. Bobby White, the U.K. handball captain, prefers two scrambled egg whites with fruit juice for breakfast, according to Men’s Health.
No, really. Lasagna is swimmer Dara Torres’ favorite dinner. Her ideal dinner is turkey-spinach lasagna, with garlic bread, a mixed green salad and green beans. All this makes up her most enjoyed meals, and I would enjoy it too.
Keeping hydrated is the single most important component of any EVERYONE’S diet. Water is vital to keep our bodies wanting to eat right, and get the most out of workouts. I can’t say I agree with this one recommendation that includes consuming half of one’s body weight in pure water, but most of us are probably not drinking enough.
Call it a stereotype, but athletes really do rely on shakes to get their share of daily protein and vegetables. They might vary in content – powder protein or chock full of ‘greens’ – but almost every single Olympian eventually mentions a shake as breakfast or a post-workout part of their day.
Zero Processed Foods
Real food. We all know this at some basic level, that the boxes and bags at the grocery store contain a sustanance, but it is rarely unprocessed. Triathlete Sarah Groff, sticks to whole grains, fruits and vegetables, even avoiding popular fitness supplements and bars.
Training for your dream
You may not have the need to fuel for a triathalon but we do need to be healthy to work on our dreams. Taking care of ourselves is the best way to make sure you get to that next dream goal.
What Olympian food choice will you make today?
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
Note: Articles by Heather may contain affiliate links and 8WD will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.