From iron-clad clean diets to cheat days that could feed a small army, athletes often have 4x the appetite of the average person. But along with an increased volume of food, some athletes have also adopted some other strange eating habits.
Here are 10 strange eating habits of athletes that may enhance your workouts.
10 Strange Eating Habits of Athletes
1. Eat More
According to the American Council on Science and Health, some athletes consume 3,000 to 8,000 calories a day1. Since athletes expend more energy than the average gym goer, they need to replenish with an above average calorie intake.
2. Chocolate Milk
Athletes sometimes use chocolate milk for recovery. It increases energy through carbohydrates and replenishes electrolytes with potassium, magnesium and sodium.
3. Midnight Snack
Some endurance athletes have such high metabolisms that they need a midnight snack to get enough nutrients. Other athletes who want to put on weight also need to eat whenever they can.
Some claim that eating candy bars is equivalent to getting the same nutritional benefits as gels and sports drinks. Candy bars do have potassium, fiber, carbohydrates and protein.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Some athletes down 1-2 tablespoons to balance blood sugar and to support weight loss efforts.
6. Salt Tablets
The American Heart Association suggests consuming no more than 2,300mg of sodium each day2. But since athletes lose more than average fluid through sweat, they sometimes supplement with a sodium tablet.
Olympic gold medal winner, Usain Bolt reportedly eats yams in his regular diet. Yams, or sweet potatoes are full of potassium and healthy carbohydrates that are satiating and give you energy to go the distance.
8. So Many Carbs
With trendy diets like keto, many forget that carb-loading is still a sufficient way to maintain energy during endurance training for races and other sports.
9. Beans & Guacamole
Athletes sometimes choose beans and/or guacamole to get enough protein for muscle repair and growth, potassium to maintain hydration and carbs for energy.
10. Cheat Meals
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson brags about his epic cheat meals on Instagram. However, cheat meals in strategy can boost glycogen and also prevent overeating throughout the week.
Before you load up on chocolate bars, take a look at your current fitness program and assess your nutritional needs with the help of a health practitioner. But hey, if beans and guacamole is right for you then Taco Tuesday it is!
1 American Council on Science and Health. (2019). Going for Gold, With Olympic-Sized Calorie Consumption. [online] Available at: https://www.acsh.org/news/2016/08/09/going-for-gold-with-olympic-sized-calorie-consumption [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].
2 www.heart.org. (2019). Shaking the Salt Habit to Lower High Blood Pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/shaking-the-salt-habit-to-lower-high-blood-pressure [Accessed 14 Aug. 2019].