The Olympian Diet Explored: Dietary Habits of Your Favorite Athletes

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Olympic athletes are the best of the best, and as we watch them compete it’s obvious that they keep their bodies at the highest level of fitness, health and performance. But do you know what they eat? When it comes to eating like an Olympian, there are some habits to mimic, and some to avoid. The nutritional needs of a Gold mentalist includes high amounts of calories. Because these athletes train so hard, and burn so many calories they are able to eat large amounts of food, and equally large amounts of calories.

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Watch this short video to find out what an Olympic athlete eats, or rather what they can eat:

Calorie Count
Since Olympians eat so much food, following their dietary plans isn’t realistic. The secret of Gold Medal swimmer Michael Phelps is consuming as many as 12,000 calories a day. Other Olympians chow down on some of the following foods, get this: an entire pound of pasta topped with olive oil (800 calories), a dozen eggs (840 calories), a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (1,000 calories), and a pizza (2,000 calories). Who can eat like this and not gain weight, and actually stay at the highest level of physical performance? Olympians.

Workout Secrets
Your body is the same as these athletes in that it needs carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluid to function properly. Registered dietician Keri Glassman (founder of Nutritious Life Meals) has said that a single workout for Michael Phelps will burn between 4,000 and 6,000 calories. That means that he can eat pretty much anything he wants to, in order to simply replenish those calories. Recovery from a workout like those done by Olympic athletes including Michael Phelps also requires some of the best foods. But what are they?

Top Workout Recovery Foods
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte eats grilled chicken breasts with Alfredo sauce, whole grain pasta along with a salad topped with lemon juice and olive oil. Although this swimmer can eat anything he desires, he recently cut junk foods including candy and soda from his diet in order to undertake an Olympic strength-training regimen involving flipping tractor tires, dragging chains, and tossing beer kegs (similar to a CrossFit training program). His recovery meal provides carbohydrates to refuel his blood glucose stores, plus healthy fats (olive oil) to support cellular function along with lean protein to help repair and build muscle tissue.(1)

Steve Hertzler says that eating to fuel the body, eating for repair, and eating to just be healthy are basic eating principles that apply even at the Olympic level. He eats a piece of fruit before each meal, consumes a combination of lean protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes after a workout and always plans his meals ahead of time.

Hertzler also loves a good post-workout shake to restore balance in his body. His favorite includes a blend of:

1 cup skim or vanilla soy milk
1 banana
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter

Try this great SkinnyMs. protein shake for perfect post-workout nutrition, and muscle repair to maximize your efforts. Do you have great eating tips for pre or post-workout? Share your favorite tips with us, by leaving a comment below!

References: ABC News

  1. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/07/30/they-eat-what-food-secrets-of-olympic-athletes/

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