Food for Olympians

Perfecting what we eat – Olympic style

Great Britain’s golden summer put together a great article highlighting what some of our athletes eat. What we eat is so important (energy intake) knowing we can perform at the highest of levels (energy expenditure).

I test myself a few times a week, cycling a particular route trying to achieve a new personal best (PB) and burning more fat in the process. The food I eat has contributed to me taking over eight minutes off my PB! Proof is in the pudding!

Chris Hoy – Olympic Cyclist

Use to drink a fruit smoothie each morning before a cycle. Simple, tasty and full of antioxidants, calcium and vitamins. My daughter swears by these too. Low fat yoghurt, plenty of fruit and some semi-skimmed milk. Delicious.

Jessica Ennis – Olympic Heptathlete

Eats a bran cereal making her fuller for longer and keeps her going until lunchtime. Bran cereals are high in fibre, contain plenty of iron to help keep energy levels high and stops Jessica from paying a visit to the vending machine. Jess is on for Heptathlon gold in Rio this year. Go Jess.

Mo Farah – Olympic Runner

Eats grilled chicken after training sessions to aid recovery (weary muscles). On top of high protein levels, chicken aIso contains a range of B vitamins, which will give you a great post-workout energy boost. Good tip to remember is to remove the skin from the chicken, as this drastically reduces the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Mo is looking to win double gold at this year’s Rio Olympics.

Tom Daly – Olympic Diver

Eats baked beans. Something I have never liked. Perhaps this is where I’ve been going wrong? Another super food which keeps you fuller for longer and also has a low glycemic value (doesn’t send your blood sugar levels rocketing). No munchie urges for Tom then. Gold at this year’s Olympics Tom?

Victoria Pendleton – Olympic Cyclist

Loves peanut butter on toast. As long as it’s a natural type that’s low in sugar and sodium, peanut butter makes for a great healthy meal because of the magnesium and potassium it contains. Magnesium helps bone development and potassium encourages muscle building. Victoria tops this meal with sliced banana to add even more potassium to the dish. What a shame you’ve retired Vicky.

Andy Murray – Olympic Tennis

Has to eat a staggering 6,000 calories a day to meet his enormous energy demands. These calories have to come from healthy sources, including a variety of pasta dishes. The carbohydrates in pasta helps to top up his energy levels and when served with lean meats such as chicken and turkey this promote muscle recovery and strength development. To make this dish even healthier, serve it with whole wheat pasta to enjoy the added benefits of more fibre, iron and folic acid. What will 2016 bring for Andy, Wimbledon? Rio Gold?

Rebecca Adlington – Olympic Swimmer

Enjoys her meat! An evening favourite of her’s is braised steak, which is a great source of – yep you guessed it – protein. Starting to notice a pattern here? This protein-packed dish helps Rebecca build muscle, and perhaps more importantly, help those muscles recover after powering through the water at breakneck speed. We miss you Bec’s.

The key to it all is nutritional balance (50% Carbohydrates, 35% fat and 15% protein), consuming sufficient calories (energy intake) and applying the right level of physical activity (energy expenditure) to burn those calories off. This way we could all become lean mean fighting machines. Off for a run now!