“What do champions chow down on to get them through competitive races? Find out all about the healthy diets of the greatest Olympian athletes of our time.”
Diet of an Olympian
When I say Olympian, I’m not talking about the mighty gods and goddesses like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and the rest of the clan perched on Mount Olympus. I’m talking about the real men and women of our time who have managed to accomplish great feats using only their bodies and sporting paraphernalia at the most celebrated sporting event of all time, the Olympic Games. But what fuels these exceptional athletes? this amazing infographic, courtesy of SBO.net. (you can read their review of NetBet here.) reveals all! (Disclaimer: brace yourself for some high-protein diets!)
The first thing you should know is that every diet on the list is specified to the individual needs of the athlete. Their daily calorific intake depends on the sport they practise (as some sports are more intense than others), their bodyweight, and training regime. Every ounce of food is carefully measured and weighed before being served, for some more than others. What’s clear is that it takes a lot of food to power a sports figure worthy of the Olympics!
Olympic weightlifter Morghan King, for example, eats five to six full meals a day to keep her going. Her meals are so specific; to maintain her weight in order to compete, she must consume 20-30% protein and 55-65% carbohydrates per meal. You can look to the infographic to show you how to determine the number of calories you need to maintain your weight.
Sir Chris Hoy’s diet is also very precise. The six-time Olympic cycling champ chows down on 5,000-6,0000 calories worth of carbohydrates, which is roughly 3-5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight, as cyclists need a constant supply of energy to keep them going during training and races.
Sprinters like Usain Bolt need to keep their calorific intake and weight down to a minimum so as to repair muscles quickly. Therefore, the fastest man in the world eats roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. In fact, he eats low-calorie protein foods such as fish and chicken. He also has a genius way of increasing his carb intake minus the calories – every person’s dream!
American professional volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings dines around three times a day and her daily intake consists of 5-7 grams of carbs per kilogram of bodyweight and 1.2-1.7 grams of protein (and not a gram more!). The secret to the three-time gold and one-time bronze medalist’s toned bod can also be found in the infographic, but I can’t say that you’ll like it!
Jonny Brownlee, the English professional duathlete, and triathlete, also has a rather strict diet. Triathletes need to be incredibly strong and have excellent endurance, they also need to be careful with the amount of protein they eat. It’s more about muscle endurance than strength so small quantities of protein mixed in a 4:1 or 7:4 ratio with carbs works best. The key tactic is being able to sustain energy over three different sports which is no easy feat.
You can head to infographic for even more information on these diets designed for champions, which also features several other big names in swimming, long and middle-distance running, football, rowing, and boxing.