As we watch Tokyo Olympics 2021, we can’t help but be curious what do Olympians eat and how do they support their training with proper food and nutrition? We’ll let you in on some of the top tips to fuel up like an Olympian.
Olympians meals are no secret. They all need to achieve a balanced diet. Their meals should be packed with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Every Olympian athlete may have varied nutrients needs for their sports/training but we have found some similar habits that they all do to keep in shape. Here’s what we’ve found:
1. Don't. Skip. Breakfast.
Needless to say, breakfast is undoubtedly one of the most important meals of the day. A good breakfast kicks off your metabolism and sets the tone. This holds true for all of us, especially to Olympians.
Mary Kom, the Olympic bronze Medallist at Boxing 2021 Summer Olympics, breakfast is a serious meal. It consists of fresh-cut orange slices, a plate of scrambled eggs, sausage and steamed vegetables with a side of miso soup – a staple dish in Japan.
We see similar breakfast habits with the four-time Olympic alpine skier Lindsey’ Vons. Her go-to breakfast is scrambled eggs topped with red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, hot sauce and cilantro (coriander).
One thing is very common, to fuel up like an Olympian. Eggs, eggs, and more eggs. Eggs are undeniably a good source of protein (both whites/ yolk). Studies have shown that eggs help you feel full and maintain blood sugar and insulin levels.
2. Fuel up pre and post-workout
Before you begin your sweat session any time of the day, always eat a snack. Even if it’s something small, a granola bar or piece of fruit on your morning walk. If it’s a little more intense choose snacks that are high in protein or fat like peanut butter toast or yogurt with granola.
When your workout’s done, your muscles need to recover and prepare for the next day’s session. Keep yourself hydrated and tuck into some chocolate milk to offer your body the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates for optimal recovery. Chocolate milk is also Ledecky’s go-to for a post-workout snack.
3. Protein loaded lunch
For Olympians, protein is a staple for lunch. Protein is also an essential component of every cell in the body that aids in building and repairing muscle.
Olympic Swimmer Ryan Murphy, shared his typical lunch which consists of lean protein like chicken or salmon, carbs such as rice, quinoa or lentils and veggies. Another great example to fuel up like an Olympian is the two-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas lunch. Her lunch consists of chicken breast grilled.
4. Light but tasty dinner
Last but not least is dinner. One key tip that’s prominent for Olympians is to not overeat during dinner but keep it nutritious. Olympian Skater Karen Chen keeps it light by eating only salad for dinner. The same habit is seen with the Australian Rugby league footballer Bryan Fletcher indulging in a salad heavy on vegetables with a small portion of either fish or chicken.
While we may not be like the Olympians we can definitely take a leaf or two out of their books to fuel up like them. One thing they all do in general is eat strategically. Ensuring from their main meals to their snacks they are packed full of nutrients to help their bodies recover, prepare and perform. Making informed food choices starts with knowing the nutritional information of the foods we eat. Luckily here at Soul Origin, we believe that good food goes hand in hand with nutrition. You can view our nutritional information against all of your favourite Soul Origin meals and snacks here so you can fuel up like an Olympian.