Should you eat like an Olympian?

Registered dietitian Sue Mah weighs in on the typical diet of an Olympic athlete

Should you eat like an Olympian?

Source: Best Health magazine, March/April 2014

Depending on the sport, some athletes, such as speed skaters or cross-country skiers, need upwards of 5,000 calories every day while training‘yes, even female athletes. For Olympians, exercise is their livelihood; they need those calories to fuel up and recover from long workouts on training days.

For a typical person, though, eating that many calories could lead to weight gain of almost one pound a week! The average woman needs to consume 1,000 calories a day, according to Health Canada. That number is a far cry from the amount of calories that keep Olympic athletes fuelled.

Yet there are some strategies in an athlete’s diet that we should follow. Food is fuel, so you can bet that Olympians are careful to eat a balanced diet with a good mix of fruit, vegetables, protein and wholesome carbs. They also keep themselves well hydrated throughout the day with healthy drinks. Athlete or not, that’s winning dietary advice.

This article was originally titled "Eat like a champion" in the March/April 2014 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!