Top Five diet tips for Olympic athlete wannabes

Top Five diet tips for Olympic athlete wannabes

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What did Olympic athletes eat? If they want to compete for the gold medal, they had to eat smart. Even athletes in the NBA, MLB, and NFL never ate bad food before training or a game. They ate more often and smaller portions. Below were the top five tips.

One thing they all did was eat breakfast. One should never skip this because it puts the body in starvation mode, which meant energy came from the body’s reserves. One’s blood sugar is low in the morning so, an Olympic nutritionist recommended eating healthy carbs, like toast or half a bagel before going on the morning workout. At least there was a 30-45 minute leader before hitting the track. For those that weren’t used to eating, then drink something. Try a fruit drink made with real fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or cranberries. Not only did this give the athlete natural sugar to power their muscles during warm up and training, it is a great way to get antioxidants too.

Athletes both on and off the field drink water. This is very important because athletes sweat a lot working out. Not staying hydrated can cause muscle cramps, headaches and dizziness. Sports drinks were a no no because they were laden with sugar and made the body crave more. The ratio of water to body weight was 5 to 1 ounces of total mass a day. To avoid tummy issues, sip on the same drink used during a workout that is used on race day. Abrupt changes in what one drank caused stomach discomfort.

Those in athletics ate fruits and vegetables along with other healthy carbs and high protein foods. The more colorful one’s plate looked the better the health benefit to the athlete’s immune system. This blogger never knew of an athlete that got sick eating healthy. Since incorporating more fruits and veggies in my diet, there have been fewer sick days this year. Greek Yogurt was high in probiotics and did not have the large amounts of sugar like other popular brands.

Athletes needed to ‘pump some iron‘. That did not mean lifting a 10 pound steak on or off the grill or lifting 10 pound hand weights. It is done by boosting the intake of iron rich foods. This prevents injuries and didn’t slow one down. Foods like oatmeal, cold cereals rich in iron, red meat, and spinach.

All athletes have a plan. Traveling to compete and public appearances were hard enough and threw anyone’s diet off on a trip. It is wise putting together a weekly menu of  nutritional meals and healthy travel snacks in a cooler so they can grab something and go. My time to plan and prepare was late Friday or Saturday afternoons for Sunday night and Wednesday night Bible Study at church. I doubled up on carbs because I was climbing in and out of vans and cars. Sometimes it felt like an Olympic event doing this from a wheelchair.

Even though they have a meal plan, this blogger would not follow the diets of Michael Phelps or Dwayne Johnson because of the high saturated fat content in both. My doctor would put me on a statin real fast.

Sources:

10 Diet Tips from Olympic Nutritionists by Lindsey Emery

Decibel (Image)  You won’t believe how many calories these pro athletes eat every day by Kate Bratskeir, Food & Health Editor, The Huffigton Post