Here at Sportsgrub, we are fascinated by the relationship between athletic performance and nutrition. Within nutrition, there are a few levels that we like to look at. It is extremely important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regiment throughout life both during the season and off the season. But one thing that really interests us is what athletes eat the day of their competition. Even someone at their peak physical form can suffer from eating the wrong food. Eating inappropriate foods, at inappropriate times, or in inappropriate amounts can all hamper your athletic performance. So with the current Olympic games in Toyko, we wanted to look into how Olympians eat and what we can learn from them.
Olympic Athletes Dieting & Nutrition
The Olympics are in full swing in Toyko. After the postponement caused by the global pandemic, the games are finally happening as originally planned. As we watch representatives from our country attempt to bring home the gold, we often catch ourselves wondering, what goes into performing your best. At such an elite level, the margin between gold and silver is often extremely small. The first thing to consider with Olympian diets is that all of them are different. Diets are personalized to the athletes. And it makes sense. We have athletes doing everything from running a marathon to riding a skateboard. The caloric needs of different aged individuals, with different body types, and performing different activities is going to vary.
The Importance of Macro-Nutrients in Athletic Performance
Macro-nutrients refer to protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Each of these nutrients is a large part of our diets and should inform the choices we make when we eat.
- Protein can be found in many sources. Often when we think of protein we think of meat, however many vegetables, beans, and legumes can provide sufficient protein. As our bodies exercise we need protein to help repair muscle. This is why many Olympic athletes eat lean meats and protein-rich foods throughout the games.
- Carbohydrates (commonly called carbs) are often spoken about in their relation to endurance. For decades many countries have insisted that their marathon runners eat foods with large amounts of carbohydrates. Pasta, porridge, and bread have often been recommended. Endurance athletes are often advised to eat large quantities of grains 24 hours before their competition. However, carbs are limited during the 24-hour window right before the event. Many athletes focus on protein on the day of.
- Many athletes avoid foods with high-fat content before performing instead of opting to get the most protein and carbs possible prior to their event. Fatty foods can lead to a feeling of being sluggish or tired and are usually not consumed prior to an event.
Learn More About Nutrition from SportsGrub
Although our clients might not be a few yards away from a gold medal at the Olympics, we still want all of our student-athletes to perform their best. That is why Sportsgrub provides individually packaged meals that are designed around fresh foods and healthy portions. Learn how our meals can help your student-athletes eat healthy before their game, during a camp, or at practice.