What is an Athlete’s Diet?

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As we all were passionately waiting for Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo and the first medals accompanied with national anthems found their winners, more and more people started to admire those brave sportsmen and sportswomen who dedicated their lives to bring glory to their nations. In fact, Olympic players look extremely attractive. As not every ordinary person is into sports, all of us are foodies, and the most popular question while we watch the Olympic Games is, so what is a typical athlete’s diet consist of?

Basic Food Groups

If your dream is to become a champion, you better start to eat like one. It is not only about regular workouts but also about very precise, healthy food habits. Athletes follow many types of diets, chosen individually for them. Flexitarian diet for men, DASH diet for women, Noom diet for weight loss, Paleo diet for gaining muscles, however, all of them have one feature in common – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between must be on time.

1.Fruits and Vegetables

The more colorful the plate – the better Nutri-elements are present in it. Fresh fruits and vegetables of all kinds will boost athletes' immune systems with antioxidants. It is a matter of great importance to incorporate fresh veggies and fruits in each meal. Spinach, bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, kale, Brussels sprouts, swiss chard, lettuce, beetroot, avocado, and numerous other veggies are powerhouses to build up muscles. Cherries, oranges, bananas, berries, mango, pomegranate, kiwi, apple, grapes – the rule is, all the same, the more colorful- the better.


Athletes have their secret list of perfect grains, which contains seven items, and most probably only half of the list is available in your kitchen. Oats, quinoa, buckwheat – so far nobody is surprised, however, most useful grains that prevent inflammation after exhausting training are farro and sorghum, teff will increase the level of iron and calcium in athlete’s blood, amaranth contains nine essential amino acid and is a vital ingredient for diet.


Now we will need a calculator, as protein consumptions are all different and depend on body weight and type of sport. For example, an average person will require 0,8 grams of protein per kg each day. Hence, if you are a man with an 85 kg weight, you will need 68 grams of protein. The highest protein consumption should have strength athletes 1,7 grams per one kg of body weight.


Dairy is a very controversial type of product, one study says it should be removed from an athlete diet, another study insists its crucial source of calcium and Greek yogurt, milk, string cheese is mandatory in the diet. Each athlete has their own preferences and a personal nutritionist; therefore, dairy products will be advised individually.

Main components of Athlets’ diet

1.Load Up on Carbohydrates

Fruits, Oatmeal, Starchy vegetables (sweet/white potatoes, squash), Non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, leafy greens), Whole grain bread or crackers, High-fiber, non-sugary cereals, Quinoa, Brown or wild rice are your smart choices.

2.Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much

As it was mentioned above protein should be calculated as per the athlete’s body weight and it's one of the rules that can influence performance and general results. Add the same amount of protein to your meals as required. Every sportsmen/sportswoman dreams to win the competition on a local or global scale. Moreover, sports competitions are so popular that they are shown in primetime on TV and people enjoy betting on a particular sportsman.

3.Go Easy on Fat

Avocado, Peanut butter, Nuts and Seeds, Olive or canola oil, Hummus, Flaxseed add to baking or cooking are healthy oils that contribute to balanced hormones production.

4.Drink Fluids Early and Often

Up to 60% of the human body is water and athletes are not exempted. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water and even the bones are watery-31%, you want to keep organs run smoothly you need to drink water often.

The Athlete’s Plate

Athlete’s Plate virtually can be divided into 3 areas: 50% of plates are dedicated to fresh vegetables and fruits, 25% is for protein and another 25% is carbohydrates. Meals are taken at exactly the same time, athletes do not skip breakfast, keep themselves well-hydrated, and tend to choose smart snacks, like nuts and dried fruits in between meals. Have a minimum of 8- hours sleep and are consistent in their training schedule. Eat. Exercise. Sleep. Repeat.

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