The Top 6 Olympic Diet Tips

An athlete running up a flight of stairs
If you want to perform like an Olympic athlete, you need to eat like one, too.

Nutritionists agree that the intensity of athletes’ training demands the right kind of fuel. While the rest of us may not be training for the Olympics any time soon, we can still be stronger, faster and fitter by eating adopting some of the top eating habits of the top Olympians.

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Eat Breakfast

“One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is heading out for a run in the morning without eating anything first,” says Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, director of the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance at Georgia State University in Atlanta, who works with Olympic distance runners (10,000m and up) and oversees the nutrition program for U.S. Figure Skating.

Your blood sugar is already low when you wake up, so you should have something carb-laden to eat, like half a bagel or some toast, as soon as you get out of bed. That way, 30 to 45 minutes will have passed before you actually head out the door. If you’re not used to eating in the morning, start small, says Benardot, such as having a small glass of apple juice, a piece of toast or a cup of yogurt.