What Winners Eat — How to Train like an Olympian

The ‘Final Five’ tastes victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Olympians are pretty much gods amongst mere mortals. Their feats seem to defy all logic and are ever so inspiring to witness. Although most of us can’t commit a life of training like them, we can certainly eat like them. Here’s a short breakdown of how you can start eating like a winner:


Breakfast is the most important…

You probably know what comes next, but some broken records are still worth listening to. We’ll save you the trouble of reading through another spiel about why breakfast is so crucial in every winner’s diet, but in the words of Nike, “Just do it.”

Carbs, protein, and fiber are your morning allies. Carbs are going to give you almost immediate energy, while protein will fuel you later on. Fiber keeps you feeling full, which may help quiet those savage cravings. Watch out for the amount of carbs you eat though.

Since you are probably not training as rigorously as Michael Phelps, your body will take any excess carbs and store them as fat. Five-time Olympic medalist, Simone Biles, enjoys a bowl of Kellogg’s Red Berries or a plate of egg whites before heading to the gym. Like Simone, keep it short and sweet. Try to eat within 30 minutes of waking up so that the energy kicks in by the time you start exercising.

Here are some other healthy breakfast suggestions to get you going:

Trail mix (Nut and dried fruit-based!), Whole-grain granola bars, Whole-wheat toast with sliced bananas, Greek yogurt, Oatmeal with fresh fruit

What to eat between and after working out

Olympians eat small, but more frequent meals. If you’re also active throughout the day, healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and nuts are important in between your main courses. After a workout, drinks mixed with protein and carbs will help your muscles recover and reduce soreness. Chocolate milk has become an incredibly popular recovery drink amongst Olympians. Think of it as a treat for all your hard work.

The best choices for lunch and dinner

Red meats, salmon, quinoa, salads, eggs, chicken, and so on. Lean, organic portions that are dense in nutrients like iron and protein are the way to go. If you’re training hard, you’ll also need more carbs via foods like pasta or rice.

Alternatively, you can rely on a more fruit/vegetable-based diet to fuel your body. USA team soccer player, Julie Johnston’s choice of lunch is a smoothie made of mangos, bananas, peanut butter, milk, and spinach with a side of chicken noodle soup.

Olympians’ diets are all about smart eating habits. If your stomach gets bored easily, changing up recipes can be helpful. Gold-medal gymnast, Gabby Douglas, likes chicken breast and grilled asparagus with balsamic vinegar, while weightlifter, Morghan King, prefers her lean meats and veggies in a stir-fry. Both stick to the same food groups, but Morghan King intakes more calories and carbs because of her strength/power sport. Your diet depends on your personal daily routines and activities, so be sure to choose accordingly when trying out recipes.

Olympians have nutrition coaches and sports dietitians by their side to guide their eating. We mere mortals are stuck with manually tracking our own food-intake, which can be a slow and demotivating process. SmartPlate eliminates this burden by automatically measuring the nutritional values you need to know about your meals. Visit getsmartplate.com and pre-order yours today.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.