Performance in the Olympics is everything, but what you consume is as important, if not more so, than everything else. For these athletes you have to treat your body like a car. If you put bad fuel in it, it won’t run well. If you put great fuel in it, it will perform to your ideal expectations and you will lower the chance of burning out. Olympians take this to an entirely new level.
Imagine training for hours on end, waking up at the crack of dawn only to be pushed to your physical limits for the next seven hours. Sadly, Olympic athletes can’t run on a cup of joe and a bagel with schmeer. To celebrate the big wins of team USA (including the 100 meter backstroke gold by 17-year old Missy Franklin) we’ve put together a roundup of not only what our favorite Olympians are eating (think sixteen bananas a day) but what they’re putting in their bodies to help recover, digest and prepare for the biggest athletic competition of their lives.
1. Powerhouse (and Michael Phelp’s biggest rival) Ryan Lochte has completely switched up his diet since the 2008 games. For preparations in London this year, Lochte has cut out all sugar and fat from his diet, in particular those trips to fast-food central McDonalds. Before, a typical breakfast for the swimmer would be “two or three McDonald’s egg McMuffins, some hashbrowns and maybe a chicken sandwich,” Lochte has said, but these days his diet reflects a much more health-conscious lifestyle, focusing on eggs, fruit, oatmeal and plenty of protein for fuel.
2. There are 100 calories in one banana. Multiply that by sixteen and you’ve got the caloric count of Yohan Blake, the 100-meter world champion Jamaican sprinter. To stay fit and full of energy, Blake has been said to eat sixteen bananas every day
3. While loading up on calories and carbs is certainly important for fuels sake, Olympic athletes need to stay healthy in their everyday life as well. Noshing on greens, fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and incorporating health-conscious snacks into their everyday lifestyle is incredibly imperative to an athletes performance. Kerry Walsh, the American medalist in beach volleyball, sticks to snacking on sandwiches chock full of honey and almond butter. Giving your body plenty of endurance, almond butter is known to provide energy for hours, something Olympians know a thing or two about.
4. Feeding the Olympians is something that London may not have known a thing or two about. We can all guess it would take tons of beef, bread and potatoes to keep the athletes well fed, but because they burn an awesome amount of calories, food supply is beyond imaginable because the athletes need to reboost just as quickly. The Olympic Village in London ordered 100 tons of beef and 330 tons of fruits and vegetables, and that’s just a start.
5. LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant all have to stay in shape to get first place this summer, especially with tough competition against Spain and Argentina. Ever wondered what they do to keep up the pace? These are the tips of the trade that they follow, which include eating greener, chewing slower, and watching the amount of animal food they eat to remain in the best shape, both inside and out.