Today we’ll deal with other side of the Unleash-Your-Inner-Olympian equation: a normal and balanced diet. Here at StumbleUpon, we asked ourselves: what should you do if you want to start eating like an Olympic athlete?
1. Michael Phelps has a record-breaking 14 Olympic gold medals to his name, but he’s almost equally well-known for his mind-boggling 12,000-calorie-a-day diet. Check out what he eats every day here.
2. Of course, training diets differ from athlete to athlete. This slideshow shows the very different daily meals of Olympic competitors in a variety of sports, from javelin to Taekwondo.
3. Now, let’s not kid ourselves. Odds are good that most of us aren’t spending nearly as much time at the gym as any of these athletes. So try using this calorie calculator to figure out how many calories you should be consuming every day, based on your height, weight, age, gender and activity level.
4. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast consisting of a mix of complex carbohydrates to give you energy, and lean protein to keep you satiated. If you’re in need of inspiration, there are some great healthy ideas here.
5. If you perform out right after morning meal, you are excellent to go, but what if you perform out later in the day? It’s been proven that you shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach…
6. …so make sure to have a light snack before you hit the weight room. Get some helpful tips on how to choose a good snack here.
7. Post-workout nutrition is also key. After a good sweat session, you need protein to repair your muscles, and carbs to replenish your energy stores. Try to eat one of these snacks within one hour after training, when your cells are most receptive.
8. What if you’re vegetarian or vegan? Not a problem! There have been a number of vegan or vegetarian Olympic champions. Check out these guidelines on how to get sufficient protein from non-meat sources to support an athletic lifestyle.
9. Finally, let’s face it…there’s only so much lowfat cottage cheese one person can take, and even Olympic athletes indulge sometimes. If you get tired of constantly eating healthy, you don’t have to lose the Olympic spirit! Just whip up some of these British-themed snacks in honor of London 2012…
10. …or some of these patriotic treats to support Team USA!