Olympians are the best athletes in the world in their respective fields. The amount of precision that goes into their training and their daily lives carries over into the food they eat. An olympian’s diet is one of the most important aspects of their training. Let’s see what some of the biggest stars eat to keep themselves performing at a high-level.
Carli Lloyd – U.S. Women’s Soccer
One of the biggest stars for the United States, Lloyd made the overtime goal that secured the gold medal for the U.S. in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While she has a notorious sweet tooth, Lloyd knows the key to success is moderation and restraint. Her usual diet includes eggs in the morning (either scrambled or made into an omelet), fruit shakes, steel-cut oatmeal, chicken salads, chicken wraps, and occasionally red meat. “A healthy diet gives you a healthy body and this is what helps fuel me on the soccer field,” says Lloyd of her dietary discipline.
Ashton Eaton – U.S. Track & Field
As a competitor in the decathlon, Eaton burns a lot of calories every single day. When you’re burning this many calories, you constantly need to keep refueling your body to keep it going at peak performance. Eaton eats a big breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, toast, and greek yogurt, and continues eating large meals throughout the day. Lunch generally consists of granola bars, bananas, and tuna melts. Dinner is a constant rotation of fish, chicken, or red meat, with a salad or green beans.
These are just a few specific examples from some of America’s top athletes, but in general what do most Olympic diets have in common? Let’s take a look!
It was said that Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, ate nearly 12,000 calories a day. Olympians need to eat more calories every day, more than the recommended intake of a normal diet, because their bodies are so active that they require all of the extra calories just to keep themselves going. However, the kind of calories they consume is also important, because consuming the wrong type of calories will derail them just as much as not getting enough calories.
When you wake up, it is important to refuel your energy stores after a night’s worth of sleep so it is important to get a nice big meal in first thing in the morning. Skipping breakfast can take a toll on overall energy levels and general health. Good choices include a mix of carbs and protein – eggs, yogurt, oatmeal and fruit to name a few.
A large amount of protein is required in an Olympian’s diet so they can maintain, repair, and grow muscle mass. Protein is also an essential part of a healthy immune system. That is why eggs, chicken, and fish are so popular with all of the athletes since these foods are very high in protein.
Water is essential to all of life, and it is especially true for Olympians who are competing at high levels of intensity. When their bodies are adequately hydrated, they’re able to compete and train harder since there is more water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles. This allows nutrients to get delivered and waste to get removed more efficiently, leading to higher overall performance.