How to Eat Like an Olympian

July 9, 2021

With the Summer Olympics fast approaching, there’s a spirit of inspiration in the air. Witnessing the incredible dedication of the world’s top athletes has a way of motivating us to to “go for the gold” in our own lives, too.

That’s why Bonnie Pace, CA’s licensed nutritionist and personal trainer, put together some thoughts on what it means to eat like an Olympian, no matter what your personal goals are.

Food=fuel

It was rumored that Michael Phelps ate up to 10,000 calories a day while training for the last Olympics. Phelps himself said this was probably an overstatement, and that his true intake was closer to 6,000 calories. This is still three times what most athletes need to eat daily. Keep in mind he burns about 3,000 calories a day training! 

So what should you do to optimize your nutrition and eat like an Olympian? Well, to start, consider the fact that Olympic athletes think of their food as fuel to enhance their performance. They eliminate fried and greasy foods that weigh them down and stay in their stomachs longer. They select nutrient dense foods over higher calorie foods that have lower nutrient density.  This means more foods like healthy carbs (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and healthy fats (nuts, avocados). One easy way to get nutrient dense foods that won’t slow you down or sit in your stomach is by making a smoothie with protein powder, strawberries and banana, spinach and avocado.  

Here’s another Olympians do that you can imitate right away: Get more rest. Your body recovers and repairs itself while you sleep. If you want to perform better in the gym and in the workplace, make sure you are at your best by getting at least six hours of sleep nightly. 

And last but not least, make sure you hydrate properly. If you are an Olympic marathon runner, it would be appropriate to drink sports drinks. However, for most youth and adult athletes, drinking water is always a better choice than sugary sports drinks.  

For more nutrition motivation…

Make an appointment with CA’s licensed nutritionist, Bonnie Pace, to help you perform at your best and achieve your goals. She can be reached at 410-531-0800 x2303 or bonnie.pace@columbiaassociation.org.

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