Athletes at the Olympics aren’t just engaged in brutal training regimes to stay at the top of their sports; they’re also on strict diets. You’ll be amazed at what some Olympians have to eat in order to be the best in the world. Come and see for yourself.
You Cut Calories For A Weigh In
It’s often thought that athletes have to eat a lot of calories but in events with a weigh-in, they will normally eat a low-calorie diet, 1,200 calories or so, for the week leading up to the competition.
Some Athletes Eat Like You And Me
“Aesthetic athletes,” those whose body weight affects how they perform (say gymnasts or divers), tend to eat a standard healthy diet of 2,000 – 2,500 calories a day.
Some Sports Require Enormous Amounts Of Calories
There are sports, like swimming, where the athletes burn a huge amount of calories and need to eat a lot more. Michael Phelps, the gold medal-winning swimmer, famously eats 10-12,000 calories every day.
Most Athletes Love Breakfast
“It’s the most important meal of the day!” is the general consensus among athletes. However, there’s no such thing as a standard breakfast at the Olympics. It very much depends on the athlete’s event.
Carbohydrates Can Help Some Athletes
In sports which burn an awful lot of calories (like running, for example), athletes will often burn through their natural carbohydrate stores in a few minutes, so they eat extra carbs before a race to allow the body to burn more and give them extra energy.
Protein Supplements Help A Lot
Protein is essential for both muscle growth and to recover the amino acids an athlete burns up during a workout. Many athletes take extra protein in the form of supplements.
Water Is A Serious Business
Olympic athletes will sweat a lot during the course of every day. They must keep hydrating, drinking lots of water, or they risk cramps, mental problems, and immune deficiency.
Clean Eating Is Something Of A Fad At The Moment
Many athletes have become concerned with the quality of the food they eat and not just its nutritional content. They have turned to the clean eating movement for their dietary planning.
Healthy Fats Play A Part Too
When you’re burning a lot of calories, fat is a great source of extra calories. It also helps with the production of hormones in the body that keep you fit and healthy.
Junk Food Is OK Sometimes Too
Usain Bolt famously crams in chicken McNuggets before each race, but he’s unusual for an athlete. However, most athletes will give themselves a “reward” in junk food after winning their event or on a rare day off from training.