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Olympic Nutri­tion

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Are you eat­ing like an ath­lete? How can you improve your nutri­tion with healthy, high energy, high nutri­ent food? Rox­anne Fisher of BBC Good Food inter­viewed 21 olympic ath­letes from the last sum­mer games on their daily diets. The fol­low­ing nutri­tional choices sum­ma­rizes what is shared among most of the athletes.

For break­fast most of the ath­letes chose a nutri­ent rich, low glycemic break­fast to pro­vide slow releas­ing energy for the rest of the day. Many ate hot cereal with nuts or seeds, such as ground lin­seed or flax seed with honey. Some had muesli and yogurt. And most of the ath­letes com­bined it with a fresh fruit smoothie with pro­tein or fresh juiced fuits, veg­eta­bles and antiox­i­dant herbs com­bined, such as beet, car­rot and gin­ger juice.

The lunches they were eat­ing were usu­ally a lean source of pro­tein, such as chicken or fish,sometimes in wrap and lots of veg­gies, such as salad with avo­cado, or veg­gie soup.

Trusted snacks through­out the day for energy boosts were a banana, dried mango, lots of fresh fruit, pro­tein bars and fruit or veg­gie smoothies.

Din­ner was usu­ally a well bal­anced meal, with a healthy source of pro­tein such as chicken, fish, eggs, beans, along with veg­eta­bles such as a stir fry, and sweet pota­toes or couscous.

All the ath­letes were also good at hydrat­ing through­out the day, by hav­ing a water bot­tle onhand always, and some­times hav­ing low sugar sports drinks to replace electrolytes.

What was seen with all the ath­letes, was that they were mak­ing choices to eat mostly whole foods, clos­est to their nat­ural state (fresh fruit, veg­gies, or blended in smooth­ies, juiced or lightly cooked) along with plenty of healthy sources of pro­tein to help rebuild mus­cles, and they were graz­ing, eat­ing food in healthy por­tions, inter­spersed with snack­ing through­out the day.

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