Every Olympics, there are a few tried and true topics that the media covers:
- Hometown guy/gal becomes Olympian
- There are insane problems with this Olympics; the host will never pull it off
- Look at these amazing bodies!
And today’s Feverrish wrapup: What in the world do top-class athletes eat?
I love these pieces because when you read between the lines, every reporter seems to desperately want said athlete to eat a ton of fast food, and the only reason they’re the Olympian and the reporter is not is because they have all day to train.
I don’t know why reporters (or the editors that OK these stories) haven’t figured out that eating a ton of crap food turns your body into crap, but that doesn’t really fill a column and spout amazement at the wonders of kale and lean proteins, does it?
However, I’ll throw them a bone–I dig these stories because even though I know that eating healthy makes your body happier, I’m always looking at how athletes mix up their food routines or whether the sport dictates more of what you eat.
Let’s start with the food during the Olympics. Being the director of food and beverage at the Olympics has to be a pretty amazing challenge. You work for months to source food from all over the world because you’re dealing with athletes who have pretty strict diets, and if they introduce anything new to their system, it could ruin their performance. Also a massive challenge? Food safety. Another worry for some athletes? Food supplements.
But let’s look at some specific athletes. Odds are that you won’t hear much about swimmer Michael Phelps during these Olympic Games, so get the news about his trimmed down food regimen while outlets still care about him. [SPOILER ALERT: He has an older person’s metabolism, doesn’t train as much and therefore doesn’t eat as much.]
Female swimmers have needs too, which is why it’s important to note that fig newtons still make mighty good snacks. Or why Natalie Coughlin’s diet will totally surprise you. [SPOILER ALERT: She eats a lot of veggies. And pasta.]
Or what about national teams? The Team GB Aldi Ambassadors wax poetic about protein shakes–and, of course, their guilty pleasures. Meanwhile, Australia weighs in on competitive nutrition and how the Australian Institute of Sport helps the country’s athletes improve with analysis.
Some athletes not only have to make sure they eat the right fuel for their bodies, they also need to incorporate religious beliefs.
Even with all of the news about this year’s Olympic food scene, someone’s already given up on food choices at Rio and is already looking ahead to the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Jamie Oliver is on the warpath to get Coke and McDonald’s out of the Olympic Village.