Olympic Swimming Pool
Image source: Salon.com

When you were young, you were probably cautioned to wait an hour before going swimming. Stomach cramps are no fun, whether you’re swimming or paddling out with your surfboard to catch the next big wave. But what if you’re an Olympic swimmer who needs to train for hours every day in the pool? You’re burning up tons of energy, but eating large meals can be a little tricky. Some Olympic swimmers need more than 6,000 calories per day just to maintain their body weight. Consuming plenty of fluids is equally important; even if you don’t notice it in the pool, you’re still sweating. If the London Olympics inspire you to start hardcore training in the pool, try eating smaller meals more frequently. Ideally, an Olympic swimmer’s diet should be about 60% to 70% carbs, 20% to 25% protein, and the rest from healthy fats. Remember that the carbs should also come from veggies and fruits, not just grains.

Bananas (Ryan Lochte usually has a couple of these daily – the potassium helps his muscles recover)

Bananas Cartoon
Image source: School.discoveryeducation.com

Peanut Butter Sandwich (Another favorite of Ryan Lochte – if you’re not a professional athlete, try reduced-calorie and reduced-sugar peanut butter instead)

Peanut Butter on Bread
Image source: Sugarplumblog.net

Grits (Michael Phelps eats this high-carb food, which provides fiber and protein)

Bowl of Grits
Image source: Bunrab.com

Chocolate Milk (Missy Franklin drinks this after workouts to help her muscles recovery)

Glass of Chocolate Milk
Image source: Raylindairy.wordpress.com

Eggs (Natalie Coughlin maintains her own chicken coop for fresh eggs; her chickens are named after the characters in “True Blood”)

Carton of Eggs
Image source: Thehealthyapron.com

Salad Greens (Natalie Coughlin is also highly invested in her large garden, and prefers to eat what she grows)

Salad Greens Chart
Image source: Kitchenspice.com

Protein Bars (Peter Vanderkaay eats energy bars before workouts and drinks lots of sports drinks – too much sugar for the average person)

Assorted Protein Bars
Image source: Nashuanutrition.com
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