To be the best, you need to train your best. Training involves more than cardio and lifting weights, it also includes eating! Olympic athletes exert massive amounts of energy, through many vigorous workouts, to stay fit for their big events. To keep up and maintain energy needs, it is crucial to fuel the body with the right nutrition. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein 1-3 hours before your work out will give you the energy needed to complete an event at optimal levels. Depending on the type of workout and person, those amounts may vary.
What do carbohydrates and protein do to the body? Carbohydrates give your blood glucose, which is converted into energy used to support the body’s functions and physical activity. Protein helps repair and strengthen muscle tissue, which is extremely beneficial for Olympic athletes who are putting tons of stress on their bodies.
When deciding what to eat, look for slow digesting complex carbohydrates such as oats. A good recipe to incorporate oats and a protein is Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal. This recipe will give you the right fuel to start your engine! Adding some sweet potato puree adds a ton of vitamins and minerals, including 100% of your daily vitamin A needs and a good source of Iron. The nuts and milk you add in gives your body some protein to round out the combinational meal. The recipe is simple and a great option for a pre-workout meal!
1 cup rolled oats
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sweet potato puree or 1 small potato
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp walnuts or pecans
Combine oats, milk and sweet potato puree onto a stove top
Cook on medium heat until the oats are tender
Stir in sweetener, cinnamon and nutmeg
Add nuts to top it off and enjoy!