It takes years for the Olympic athletes to adjust and perfect their diet. To compete professionally, we can learn about the nutrition tips from the world-class athletes that inspired them to the gold medal.
Athletes approximately consumed a combined total of 330 tons of fruits and vegetables and 19 tons of eggs in the last summer Olympic Games. Looking at what professional competitor utilize to fuel their workouts give us experiences into our claim sports sustenance. Some of such factors are discussed in this article.
50 to 60 percent of daily required calories of athletes come from carbohydrates. Will Dean of Kelowna, an Olympic rower, says that he generally maintains a balanced diet. But during a long training session, he increases his consumption of carbohydrates. Few of the favorite easily digestible carbs of Dean include sourdough bread, rice, and sweet potatoes.
Fill Out With Fat
The last one in the nutritional triad is fats. For excellent performance, our total daily calorie intake from fats should not exceed 30 percent. Healthy fats include walnuts, olive oil, and fatty fish (fish provides omega-3 fatty acids which help in burning fat and boosts exercise performance).
A protein shake helpfully rehydrates you, whereas, conveying a dosage of recovery-boosting nutrients. Tobias Young, an international bodybuilding professional, combines oatmeal with lean ground turkey with yams or egg white.
Listen To Your Body
No matter what type of exercises you are doing or sport you are playing, always listen to your body as we are not all Olympians. Long-lasting muscle pain, restless sleep, or chronic fatigue are some of the factors indicating to adjust nutrition or workout routines according to your body needs.
At rest, the calories we burn are outlined by our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The nature of the exercises you perform at the gym tells you the total amount of calories you are required to fuel your workouts. For light exercises (1 to 2 days/week), multiply BMR with 1.375. For moderate (3 to 5 days/week) and hard workouts, multiply BMR with 1.55 and 1.725, respectively.
Pump up with Protein
15 to 20 percent daily required calories of athletes come from protein. Few of the leanest and healthiest sources of protein include tofu, beans, yogurt, chicken breast, and spirulina. Athletes consumed more than thirty-one tons of chicken (and other poultry), during the last Summer Olympics.
Foods That You Can Add in Your Workout Diet
All of us cannot perform like Olympic athletes, but what we can do is eat like them. Now, let’s discuss some facts and tips about food or products that kept Olympic athletes fueled.
- Sandwiches and Bars
The type of food and products an athlete consumes before competition or training are very crucial to performance. The favorite snack of a speed skater, Catherine Ramey, is a jelly sandwich and peanut butter. Since the carbs from white bread provide a quick boost of energy and are easily digestible, many athletes go for it. Peanut butter delivers a little amount of protein as well.
Bars are very portable, which makes them a popular choice for athletes. Due to the wholesome and all-natural ingredients like dried fruit and nuts – KIND bars are the go-to choice of Slopestyle Olympic skier Grete Eliassen.
- Breakfast for Dinner
According to Adam Korzun, the official sports dietitian for Winter Olympics, he sometimes prepares a carb-heavy breakfast (like pancakes and Fresh toast) for his athletes’ dinner. Bode Miller, an alpine ski gold medalist, is reportedly an eager believer in this model and appreciates a delicious waffle for dinner.
According to the New York Times, the U.S. women’s hockey team, before their opening game in Sochi, were dined on blueberries. Inflammation from exercises not only cause discomfort and stiffness but also slows down the athlete as well. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, and vitamin C. Vitamin C enhances the immune system, whereas antioxidants are anti-inflammatory.
Therefore, consuming blueberries produce a higher antioxidant defense level in the blood, which improves the recovery rate.
- Chocolate Milk
The protein content of chocolate milk is double as compared to most sports drinks and water. The protein in the chocolate milk blends with its carbohydrates and makes it an adequate source to recharge tired muscles.
As shown in the recent ads, Zach Parise, a hockey player, drinks chocolate milk before and after matches. He is one of those Olympians who drink chocolate milk for healing and muscle recovery. Unfortunately, for the average gym-goer, a chocolate drink does not rationalize 30 minutes on the treadmill.
- Hydrating Beverages and Foods
In warmer temperatures, we need to drink more to stay hydrated and fresh. But people associate more drinking to warmer temperatures only, which is wrong. In winter weather, the probability of dehydration accelerates. So, the Olympic athletes are motivated to eat plenty of water-rich vegetables and fruits like radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and grapes.
- Pre-Race Fuel
When getting ready for a workout, the Olympic athletes know that a breakfast packed with protein and carbohydrate fuels a great day.
Carbohydrates are key for pre-performance. Therefore, you should stock up on foods like fruits and whole grains for good sugars your body requires.
Simple and easy breakfast ideas for early morning workouts include:
- A whole-wheat English muffin with peanut butter and jelly
- Oatmeal made with milk and fresh fruit, or nonfat plain yogurt topped with granola.
Did you know that the Moguls star Hannah Kearney, who is defending her Gold medal, combines nonfat Greek Yogurt with all-natural granola for her protein & fiber-packed breakfast? You can try it out too!
- Recover Right
Wondering what to eat after you are done with working out at the gym? Olympic athletes know that recovery snacks are important – preferably if consumed within the first 15 minutes following completion of a workout.
Nutrition scientists agree that portable post-workout snacks that contain a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein are optimal for recovery. Speed skater JR Celski fuels his recovery with shakes, and a trip to the sauna.
- Shake it up!
Try these two post-workout shake recipes for that optimal 4:1 carb: protein recovery ratio that works to replenish glycogen stores while repairing damage to muscle tissue:
- Peanut Butter Banana Blend Smoothie
The ingredients you require are one cup nonfat milk, 1.5 frozen bananas, one tablespoon peanut butter, & 4-5 ice cubes (335 calories, 56 g carbohydrate, and 14 g protein). Blend them all, and have yourself a delicious peanut butter and banana smoothie.
- Mango Recovery Shake
The ingredients you require include 15 pieces of frozen mango chunks, 3/4 cup nonfat yogurt, 3/4 cup orange juice, & 4-5 ice cubes (270 calories, 54 g carbohydrate, and 13g protein). Blend them all and have yourself a delicious mango recovery shake.
It is a fact that you are not an Olympian, but what you can do is at least eat like them. Their diet includes a combination of protein and carbs. You can easily prepare the easy recipes we mentioned in this article and treat your bodies like the Olympians do.