Ah, the Olympics. It’s that special time when all of the finest athletes the world has to offer compete against one another in a stunning display of the utmost limit our bodies can exceed. These individuals represent the epitome of fitness, and many of us would love to achieve even a fraction
of the record speeds, jumps, or throws. While their rigorous workouts are always well documented, few people have a grasp of what an Olympian diet
would look like. So . . . do you have the stomach to chow down with Michael Phelps and other gold medalists?
Read on to see why it might be best to order just a salad.Calories, Calories
If you've ever looked at a nutritional label,
or have an inkling of general health and wellness, you may have noticed that the daily recommended limit for the average adult is around 2,000 calories. That's actually what Olympic athletes eat too. Well, for breakfast or lunch anyway. In fact, the high-performance Olympians are actually eating anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 calories each day
Remember we mentioned Michael Phelps? The young phenom consumes around 12,000 calories. Now that’s a lot of Subway sandwiches! Well, to be fair, he probably does get the “munchies” after smoking a little weed. All kidding aside, these guys and gals eat a ton. They have to eat meals every few hours, from the early morning until right before bed.
To put 12,000 calories into perspective, you could eat 20 Big Macs each day (more than once per each hour that you're awake), and still have 1,200 calories left for other foods. And that's a fatty junk food! Consider that these athletes’ meals mostly consist of leafy greens, vegetables, fish, red meat, and cereal, and you can really get a sense of how much food 12,000 calories really is. Balanced and Healthy
Looking across each Olympian's diet menu, however, will reveal a consistent theme. First, there’s plenty of protein coming from peanut butter, red meats, tons of fish and chicken, and protein shakes. Then of course there are the fruits and vegetables, which can be anything like carrots, broccoli, peas, bananas, strawberries, and apples. Energy comes from large portions of carbohydrates that include cereals, potatoes, and whole grain breads. And what athlete doesn't drink plenty of water
? Drinking more than a gallon of water each day is not unheard of. Should You Follow Suit?
While it may be tempting to pig out on all this food in your favorite athlete’s likeness, you must realize that these Olympians can only eat how they do because they spend entire days working out vigorously, oftentimes in the punishing sun
. If you tried to consume the same amount of calories, you would most likely gain more weight than you know what to do with (even though it might be considered “healthy” food).
Remember, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The Olympic athletes work hard to push their bodies where they haven't gone before, and the only way to get the fuel they need to keep going is by eating massive amounts of food. Go Team USA!
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. Health Magazine, n.d. Web. 19 July 2012. <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20602461,00.html?xid=healthyliving06272012>.
Dunham, Deborah. "What Olympic Athletes Really Eat (But Don’t Try This Diet Yourself)." BlissTree.com
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Tannenbaum, Kiri. "Olympic Appetites: What Members of Team U.S.A. Eat to Win." Delish.com
. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2012. <http://www.delish.com/food-fun/olympic-athlete-diet#slide-1>.
Farberov, Snejana. "What Olympic Athletes REALLY Eat." DailyMail.co.uk
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