Olympic Size Meals

What do Olympic Athletes eat? How do they stay in top physical condition? How is their diet changed in order to provide enough energy and strength for the intense nature of their sport?

Athletes diets are so different from the average person in that they require a lot more calories because of the amount of calories burned during exercise and competitions. Where an average person would require and eat only 2,000 calories or a little more a day, an athelete can sometimes consume up to 10,000 calories a day depending on the intensity and level of the sport! Key components of their diet must include CARBOHYDRATES and PROTIEN… (along with all of the the food groups) but these two are a must have. As an “ex” D1 athelete I can understand the ins and outs of what a serious athlete needs to keep the body going and excelling at the rate its being pushed. Going from 5am spinning class, straight to workouts with just enough time to stop by “The Landing” where they had everything from chocolate milk to protein and meal supplement shakes, to apples, bananas, and dried fruit and nuts. You could even make your own protein smoothie. Having access to that was imperative to keeping my body going the rest of the day of classes and on to practice that evening.

Carbohydrates are the bodys energy! Friuts, breads, rice, and many cereals are all good sources of carbs. These are all broken down in the body to glucose to provide us with energy. What most atheletes gear toward are the more complex carbohydrates like the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. With carbohydrates in sufficient amount in the body the athelete is able to “go all out” for longer before they exhaust themselves. Also, with a diet high in carbohaydrates, if not all of the carbs are used up they are stored in the body in the form of glycogen for later use and break down into energy.

Proteins are the muscles major resource for building and rebuilding! Proteins consists of one or more polypeptide chains, and polypeptides are are linear chains of amino acids. Proteins play a part in alot of cell activity, some being broken down into essential amino acids and others into glucose for energy. Protein is very vital in METABOLISM and also with fibrous proteins actin and myosin in the MUSCLE to provide shape and motility! Key for an athlete who has rigorous workouts and practices.

All other components of the diet such as dairy, fats, oils, and fruits are also important to keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle not just for an athelete but for everyone!

“Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

-Roger Staubach

Comments and questions or ideas?

Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

Coffee is the second traded commodity on earth, oil being the first. So, I think it is safe to say that we, as humans, drink A LOT of coffee! As a college student I rely on coffee as an energy booster to help keep me awake through those slightly less interesting 8am classes, while others drink coffee socially, meeting friends in cafe’s, or for some relaxation time on the porch with a good book. But, there have been many questions asked lately on whether this addictive drink is doing more harm than good on the body. A main point was its effect on iron absorption.  Here is some information I found out…

Iron is an important part of the body’s ability to transport oxygen throughout cells and tissues. A lot of iron is found and carried by the protein called HEMOGLOBIN, while some can also be found in MYOGLOBIN, which is a protein that, instead of delivering oxygen to the tissues, it transports it to the muscles and aids in energy production or ATP! There are two types, heme and non-heme iron. HEME iron is the most important, found in the blood. Eating things such as beef, chicken, or any type of fish are all good sources of heme iron that will be easily absorbed by the body. Non-heme iron, which is consumed more in most diets, is found in dairy and vegetable products and is absorbed by the body but not as well as heme. Without proper absorption of iron daily, your body tissues and muscles are being deprived of oxygen leaving  you tired, weak, and a dwindling immune system.

Okay, now that you have the basics of the importance of IRON, here is how coffee affects the absorption…

TANNINS! These are chemicals found in coffee that bind to NON-HEME iron creating IRON TANNATES that are insoluble and will be flushed through your body without absorption. The effects are varied on the strength of the coffee and the time in which the coffee is consumed. Increasing the strength of the coffee, increases the tannins, increasing the binding capabilities and drinking coffee before the meal is less damaging than if you were to drink it during or after a meal.

Athough, coffee has inhibitory effects on iron, I found that it is much better to drink than if you were to grab a glass of TEA! Tea is lower in caffeine and higher in tannins! So, if you are looking for a pick me up, grab a coffee which has fewer calories, more caffeine,  and lower iron binding effects.

REMEMBER:

  • Drink BEFORE the meal!
  • Increase your vitamin C and Beta-Carotene, found in fruits and vegetables!
  • Eat plenty of meat, fish, and poultry!

Websites I used:

ANY COMMENTS or QUESTIONS areAPPRECIATED and WELCOME! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/93801604714147061/