As we are currently all watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio and looking at the athletes, you gotta be asking yourself – what is their secret? Is it the hours of training or some special talent that they had since they were born? While both might have equal importance, there is one important element that is often overlooked – their diet. Yes, believe it or not, the strict diet and eating schedule is one of the elements that helped professional athletes be were they are today. Food that we eat is like fuel for our bodies, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is so important what we eat.
This is what inspired us to look up what are the eating habits of professional athletes:
- Professional athletes eat a lot of protein every day, mostly because they have a lot of muscle mass, which needs protein to maintain. Furthermore, protein also comes in handy after exercises, since these athletes have very hard workouts, sometimes even more times during the day. You could also load up on protein, but only if you are starting a harder training or running longer distances.
- What athletes eat before the competition is very important, that is why every single athlete has its own food – what works for one person, might not work for another. They usually eat around 30 minutes before competing and it is usually some carbohydrates that body can digest fast, so it gets the necessary fuel. We have recently written about dieting before exercise – the best thing is to find what works for you!
- After an exhausting workout, athletes also have already planned what they should eat. While we all feel that burger or pizza is ideal after a hard workout, athletes choose shakes or grain bowl with veggies and brown rice – and they eat that around 30 minutes after they have finished the workout. Along with that, professional athletes usually add a sports drink, to make sure that their body is hydrated.
- One thing that many people expect is that professional athletes are counting calories, in order to be sure that they are getting enough and not to go over the needed amount. However, according to experts most of the professional athletes don’t count calories – because they burn a lot daily. Thanks to not paying attention to calories, professional athletes don’t deprive themselves of necessary nutrients and by doing this they also make sure that their bodies are getting everything that is needed.
- We have always heard that we should listen to our bodies – what is it telling us and that we should act about it. When it comes to professional athletes – this is exactly what they do. Take runners for example – while some runners love to eat banana with oatmeal before a race, some claim that they have digestive problems when eating the same exact meal. This means that not the same food works for everyone and because of this you have to find out what works best for you.