Three time Olympics Gold Medalist Sprinter, Usain Bolt is a sure contender for success this coming Olympics. He knows what his body needs and has personalized his meal patterns accordingly. Experts say that runners need to have a disciplined diet where the bulk of the food needs to be high in carbohydrates to fuel up the muscles in the body. Proteins and fats in moderation are other dietary requirements. Read on to know what Olympic sprinters need to eat, to run the way they do.
Carbohydrates- A high carbohydrate diet is recommended to provide sufficient glucose and energy to run as fast as possible. Complex carbohydrates are ideal and should be eaten in all main meals and also as snacks.
Proteins- Moderation in proteins is the best to help in repair of the muscles and prevent any further wear and tear. Eggs, lean meat and beans are the best sources.
Fats- They should make up only 10% of the total calories eaten in a day and must be obtained from plant sources. Cold pressed oilve and groundnut oils are the healthiest.
However shocking it sounds it is true! Usain Bolt skips breakfast many a times as he is a late riser and usually not up before 11 am. This is his routine on an average day. When he is training, it is very different. He is up early and eats a hearty breakfast after he trains. Yams and green bananas that have been fried are a staple part of his diet. Occasionally salt fish and ackee fruit ( the national dish of Jamaica) are eaten. This breakfast is rich in calories from carbohydrates and fats which are the prime sources of fuel for an athlete. The fruit itself is rich in many essential fatty acids and is a favorite of the sprinter.
Usains' high energy diet consists of 60 % proteins and 30 % carbohydrates and his lunch best reflects this. Rice with a large serving of either beef or pork is eaten which gives him high quality protein and supplies all the amino acids that the muscles need for repair and growth. The red meat is also an invaluable source of highly absorbable iron without with a runner will lack stamina and fatigue faster. He tries to get at least 1g of protein per kg body weight and gets this from meat mainly.
He loves chicken nuggets and can live on them all day! On the days that he skips breakfast, chicken nuggets are eaten at regular intervals. They are undoubtedly a rich source of protein and help Usain meet his protein requirements. They are also high in fat which supply the muscles with glucose when the reserves of carbohydrates and glycogen have been depleted. Mc Donalds and KFC are his all time favorite haunts for this not so healthy snack. On days of the main event he only eats nuggets which he claims is the secret of his success.
Dinner is the same as lunch and focuses on high quality protein that the sprinter requires for his vigorous training sessions and to build up muscles for the main game.
The menu is rice along with pork, chicken, fish and beef. He also eats yam along with this main course which is rich in vitamins and plenty of complex carbohydrates.
Usain believes that a natural diet is the best food for the body and hence does not heavily rely on the use of supplements as they can be harmful for health. He only has vitamin C supplements which help in improving iron absorption and keep immunity levels high. This is also done because of an obvious lack of sufficient fruits and vegetables in his diet.
For a runner, it is about the right levels of hydration when competing in a game. Too much or too little can be dangerous and this is what every runner must be aware of. Usain drinks energy drinks like gatorade when he is extremely fatigued as the glucose and the electrolytes in it help him to recharge and get back on his feet. On other days, he mixes gatorade with water and sips on this at regular intervals.
This not so well balanced diet should not be tried at home as it is best done under medical supervision. It sure works for the world fastest runner and we hope it brings him luck and his beloved gold this time around too!
Image Credit wikipedia, ifood.tv