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 powder 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.