Three female Olympians share what they eat to fuel their workouts
6:00 A.M. breakfast:
I always start my day, especially when I’m training, with a smoothie. The coconut water keeps me naturally hydrated during my intense morning workout regime. Here’s my favorite morning recipe (Zico is a sponsor, but I luckily love coconut water so this is perfect):
8 oz. Zico Natural Coconut Water
3 ice cubes
1 teaspoon maca root
1 teaspoon spirulina
20 grams scoop protein powder (rice, or goat whey)
1/2 celery stick
8:00 A.M. post-workout snack:
Almonds and an avocado are my go-to snack, especially when I’m traveling. I also love putting Jif Natural peanut butter on apples.
12:00 P.M. lunch:
I eat organic and local whenever I can, so for lunch I like to have fish or a lean protein, like chicken with lots of green vegetables and brown rice.
3:00 P.M. snack:
My guilty pleasure is definitely chocolate! To curb my afternoon craving, I like to blend up a smoothie like this:
8 oz. Zico Chocolate Coconut Water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3 ice cubes
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
Optional: 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
6:00 P.M. dinner:
I love sushi, so if it’s available where I am, then that’s definitely my go-to. If not, I stick with a lean protein, veggies, and brown rice. Sometimes, if I haven’t had enough greens during the day I’ll mix up a Mattole Valley Naturals protein powder drink. They’re handcrafted whole food herbal blends, and there are so many great products to choose from. It’s crazy to travel with a bag full of powders, but I really believe in them.
7:00 A.M. breakfast:
Oatmeal with flax and nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), coffee, orange juice. After that, I warm up with 30 minutes of running, then another hour in the pool and on the trampoline.
11:30 A.M. lunch:
Turkey sandwich on a spinach wrap with hummus, spinach, and other veggies, plus an apple or banana.
12:00 P.M. snack:
Training involves hill prep and jumping for about 4 hours, so when extra energy is needed I sometimes will eat a homemade energy bar (gluten-free oats, honey, almond butter, nuts, chocolate protein powder, coconut and dried fruit).
4:00 P.M. snack:
Core Power Drink in vanilla.
4:30 P.M. I have a team meeting, then another workout that consists of an hour and a half of weights, followed by 20 minutes of spinning.
6:30 P.M. snack:
Almonds, fruit, or yogurt are great little snacks for recovery after working hard. After that, I stretch, get physical therapy, or sit in a cold tub.
7:30 P.M. dinner:
Huge salad (usually veggies from local Copper Moose Farm CSA), rice or quinoa, grilled or roasted veggies, and tofu or salmon. I'm a fan of fresh, local food, so I participate in a local CSA in Park City in the summer and get most eggs and veggies there in the winter as well. I don’t eat much meat (I prefer fish) but will eat beef occasionally.
My days always start super early with a workout or swim practice, and the hardest thing for me to do is to get something in my system at that hour of the day. I take the fast and basic approach with 20 grams of protein powder, 1 scoop of carb mix with about 6 ounces of water. That gets me through any morning workout.
Once the workout is complete, it's another shake, with 30 grams of protein with glutamine to start the recovery process. The key to this shake is getting it down within 15 minutes post-workout, so I have it already measured out in a shaker in my bag, and all I have to do is add water. Now is the stage of the game where my appetite starts to roar. It becomes a game of speed, how fast can I get home, shower, and get a real meal down the hatch.
My go-to options are a bagel and egg sandwich or oatmeal with almond butter and fresh blueberries. That oatmeal all blended together tastes like a warm blueberry muffin just out of the oven. I will consume somewhere in the range of 500 to 600 calories for breakfast at this time.
Something else I've gotten into lately is juicing. I make two different kinds and switch them around throughout the day. One I'd reach for in a post-workout juice is a blend of green apple, strawberries, pitted cherries, celery, cucumber, and lemon.
Lunch consumption can vary depending on when my next workout is, but nine times out of 10 I am having leftovers. I always cook enough at dinner to have it the next day. It just makes life easier to manage a busy schedule and a "swimmer" appetite.
My favorites: chicken stir-fry on a bed of pad Thai noodles or blue cheese turkey burgers and black rice.
Before heading to an afternoon workout it’s time for another juice shot. When I juice, I am only taking in about 4 to 6 ounces pre-workout, and I want a little energy kick, so I like a blend of spinach, kale, parley, and pear at this time of day.
Depending on when my last solid meal was, if I haven't eaten within an hour of the workout I get another mix of protein/carb shake in, the same one I do first thing in the morning.
Post-afternoon workout snack:
Once the workout is complete, I have a 20-gram protein shake with glutamine.
Dinner is always a time where creativity begins; I love to cook and make up new recipes. One of my latest was a twist on jambalaya: chicken, sweet turkey sausage, okra, and red quinoa. I normally eat my last meal before 8 P.M. and I may have a little snack if I am up, but I rarely ever eat past 10 P.M.
My favorite snack is gluten-free yogurt-covered pretzels.
General eating rules:
I eat a fair amount of gluten-free pastas and eat more quinoa than rice (it's healthier on my digestion, so I train better). I do not drink or cook with milk because of a lactose sensitivity, so it's almond milk for me. I also stock plenty of coconut oil, fresh herbs, seasonings, and cooking wines in my pantry.
Curious what female Olympians eat? We asked three of them to share their daily diet.
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