Eat Like An Olympian: How Athletes Fuel Up For Competition
Being an Olympic athlete requires a high level of discipline when it comes to dieting. Dieting is a part of an athlete's lengthy training process. For some athletes it means cutting calories to meet weight requirements. For others it means devouring protein to pack on lean muscle for strength, speed, flexibility or injury prevention. Training diets can be a bit different than the diets Olympic athletes use once they reach the Games. Take a break from your healthy cookbook and read on to learn about common race day diets, or learn a few tricks that can help improve your workouts.
Heavy Whole Grains
Even athletes who prefer to compete on an empty stomach admit that getting a proper breakfast is an essential way to start the day. Early morning staples like eggs and protein shakes are typical among athletes trying to fuel up for a long day of competition, but the type of breakfast an athlete eats also depends on their type of sport and its Olympic schedule. For athletes such as swimmers or divers, it can be an advantage to stock up with heavier whole grains. They might be harder to digest, but the delayed distribution of carbs and protein keeps their energy up during a long day.
Packed With Protein
An Olympic athlete needs plenty of carbohydrates during training to get through all the strenuous workouts and keep them fueled for the next day. As competition approaches, subtle changes to an Olympian's diet swap some of the carbs for nutrition like lean protein. Fish like tuna, chicken and organic, low-fat dairy products are a few major staples for meals like lunch and dinner during the Olympics. Diets are tailored to each individual athlete's needs. During competition, athletes can't afford inconsistencies in their diet. Most foods consumed have to be tried and true.
Fine Quality Fats
It might seem odd for fat to be such a vital part of an athlete's diet, but it's important for anyone to know that there's a huge difference between quality fats and bad fats. Bad fats can come from non-organic sources and processed foods. Saturated fats raise levels of bad cholesterol in the body while lowering good cholesterol. Good fats like omega-3s from fish and nuts are great for an athlete's diet. Superfoods like almonds are popular among Olympians on race day because of their anti-inflammatory properties and magnesium that improves oxygen levels in the blood.
In the weeks or months leading up to the Olympic Games, athletes alter their eating schedule to switch from training mode to competing mode. Eating a lot more throughout the day keeps them fresh at all times. Getting used to this diet change can take a little time, but it pays off on the day of competition, especially for athletes competing in their first big event. There can be many hours of waiting around. In this time, athletes don't want to wear their body out, but they need to stay loose and ready for their moment. Micro meals or quick snacks are placed between larger meals.
The differences in dietary plans and eating schedules between training and competition can vary quite a bit. Whether you're training for a large or local event, remember to eat like an Olympian and change your diet on race day. Get clever gadgets to prepare meals for your daily diet, as well as women's activewear, men's workout apparel and more to train for competition at LTD Commodities.