By: Martin Ebner
Ever wondered how and what Olympians eat in order to reach their peak physical performance? With so much pressure riding on each and every athlete taking part at this years Rio Olympic games, fuelling their bodies with the right nutrition is essential and could be the difference between simply turning up and winning the gold.
Now not all athletes are built equally and calorie consumption varies tremendously between the different athletes. Michael Phelps' 10,000 + calorie a day diet would probably be of little use to Equestrian athlete, Nicolas Astier. However, regardless of calorie consumption, all athletes follow the same basic principles and we can and probably should do the same.
Eat little and often
Well, maybe not little in an Athlete's case but certainly often. By swapping your 2-3 big meals a day for 5-6 smaller meals, you’ll put less stress on your digestive system - preventing energy slumps and lethargy. We certainly can’t have that, can we Usain!!
By eating organic, Olympians avoid ingesting; hormones, antibiotics, drugs and a host of other nasty chemicals that are found in the vast majority of commercially grown products. Not only that, but organic foods contain more nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. It's a win-win!
Eat before and after training sessions
Food is Fuel. If the tank is half empty, your performance will suffer! To insure optimum performance come race day, it’s crucial to eat well before and after (In some cases, even during) your workouts. What you eat in the time surrounding your training sessions plays a decisive role in the effectiveness of your results and your performance.
Eat a balanced diet
Our bodies require all of the essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins to function properly. Remove a single ingredient and it can wreak havoc on not only your performance but your overall wellbeing too. By eating a variety of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you’ll allow your body everything that it needs to perform at the highest level.
Hydrate hydrate Hydrate
Hydration is essential not only for sports performance but in every aspect of your life. Without water, your body cannot function. Water lubricates your joints, transports nutrients around the body and regulates your body temperature. Just 1% dehydration can reduce physical performance by up to 20%. A big No No for Olympians!