The Olympics may have come to a close last night, but the games spirit still lives on. Here we look at a new infographic that has taken a closer look at the diets of some of the world’s top Olympic athletes. So, what does it take to eat like an Olympian?
Qualifying to compete in the Olympics is the high point of many athletes’ careers. It doesn’t get much better than being part of the biggest sporting event on the planet. But making the grade for your chosen event at the games is only the tip of the iceberg. To get there it takes tens of thousands of hours of practice, 100% dedication to your sport and a diet that would test most of us for a couple of days let alone year in, year out.
So just what do Olympians have to eat to stay in the best possible shape and give themselves the greatest chance of taking home the gold?
The answer is that it depends on what sport we’re talking about. Some events, like long distance running, require plenty of carbs for energy. Weightlifters on the other hand need protein to build muscle and strength. Sailors need brain food, to help them to make the best decisions in the fractions of seconds they get to make them.
Then there are the swimmers, like Michael Phelps, who consume huge quantities of calories just to keep going. In normal hands, eating 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day is a recipe for colossal weight gain. However, when you’re swimming six to eight hours a day in the pool, you need these quantities just to keep going. One look at Phelp’s body proves that weight gain is not something he must be too concerned about.
The research has looked at athletes in a various number of sports across the Olympic canon. So, find the sport that most closely resembles your own and use this as a basis for your own diet. On the whole, it seems like a balanced diet with regular small plates of food and supplements after training keep things pretty healthy.
Whether you’re a cyclist like Chris Hoy, a swimmer like Phelps or a sprinter like Usain Bolt – check out the Diet of an Olympian infographic to find out what you need to be eating to stand any chance of making the games.
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Infographic via SBO