What do Olympians eat?

Flanders, Netherlands

Flanders, Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As media keep us updated with the London Olympics we see how athletes show power and stamina. Those medals. The hype, the awe. Do you wonder what makes all that possible? More specifically what fuels their extraordinary feats. Let’s narrow down to the dining table. If you are wondering what exactly do Olympians eat, you are not alone.

Athletes currently starring in the 2012 Olympics are said to be eating a lot.  Emphasis on “a lot” sent a memory back of my mother musing about what a boxer in her hometown eats: loads of eggs, milk and meats. Loads.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that the average, moderately active man needs 2,000 to 2,800 a day. Look at the contrast against calories consumed everyday by athletes: it’s between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day. The business of feeding athletes for elite sports includes appropriate times for meals, a balance of percentages between carbohydrates and proteins, and how much fluid they take.

Diet advice has changed over the years with the advance of science. Ingesting the right proteins that will help repair muscles for the next competition is now added. It was  usually the normal huge steak athletes sit down to a couple of decades back. What do today’s athletes have on their plate?

That I’m no athlete but eat similar stuff almost everyday surprises me. You may be eating the same food too although Olympians spend long hours of hard training while the rest of us do not. So they have more factors to consider with their diet. They are advised to have a light meal before an event, i.e. oatmeal, banana with milk or yogurt

Athletes also have a “recovery meal,” the food they eat after an event. And the suggestion is fruit smoothie with protein powder or a turkey sandwich. So there. But what now? No steak? There must be a place for that somewhere on the platter. The honorable mentions are highlighted with notes on quantity and timing.Enhanced by Zemanta