In the Olympics, superstars have to eat in a very unique way. Athletes like Olympic champ Katie Ledecky, for instance, have a certain way they eat to stay sharp before a big competition. Ledecky is a six-time Olympic Gold medalist and the woman to beat for swimmers everywhere this year.
Like many athletes, Katie Ledecky has a dietitian that helps her get the nutrients she needs to put her body through such intense activity. Reporter Michelle Tafoya with Today talked to Ledecky’s dietitian about what does into the powerhouses way of fueling up.
In The Olympics, a Lot Goes into Diet
“This morning it was oatmeal, made with extra milk, peanut butter, and fruit for protein, carbs, and antioxidants,” Tafoya reported to Today. “She can snack on things like energy bars before the race, and she generally has a sports drink in her hand until she leaves the ready room.”
But it doesn’t stop there. Cooldown can be just as important to the body as a warm-up. Post-race, the swimmer “downs at least one twelve-ounce bottle of low-fat chocolate milk on the way to the warm-down pool.”
It’s incredible how detailed the routine of an Olympic athlete can be. Dieticians borrow from in-depth scientific research to ensure their athletes are performing their best.
“Because studies suggest swimmers perform better in the evening because their core body temperature is higher, Katie helps raise her body temperature in the morning by adding coffee to that warm breakfast,” Tafoya said. Honestly, the breakfast doesn’t sound that bad at all.
Ledecky doesn’t just train for the race. She trains for the entire race day. Apparently, before an event like The Olympics, Ledecky eats and sleeps like she would at the games.
“She’s rehearsed well-choreographed meal routines again and again and again (by) waking up, pretending it was a race day, and eating on schedule. All of this has been as much a part of Katie’s daily training as swimming laps,” Tafoya said.
Ledecky Just Won Her First Gold of The Games
All of Ledecky’s hard work and training has once again paid off. The swimmer, who had a bit of a stumble earlier in the games when she failed to medal in the 200m freestyle, just won a gold medal in the 1500m freestyle.
Ledecky is known as one of the best female swimmers of all time. Even Michael Phelps has said Ledecky could probably outswim him, and now, she’s dominating the sport once more.
You can still catch plenty more of Ledecky and the other amazing Olympic competitors this year. This year may not have the best ratings, but it still brought the best of the best athletes. To tune in to the Olympics, you can watch the games on NBC, the NBC Sports app, or on NBCOlympics.com.