As the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics rapidly approaches, the athletes are undoubtedly feeling excitement and anticipation. Many have been training for this event for years, while others have been practicing for most of their lives. 

Not only have the athletes spent endless hours perfecting their sport, but they have also adhered to a strict diet of healthy, nutritious foods to fuel their energy and maintain peak bodily condition. 

What does the diet of an Olympian feature? Read on to find the top ways these elite athletes nourish their bodies daily to remain healthy and active.

Meal Plan

When mealtime results in last-minute decision-making, nutrition often takes a back seat to convenience. This habit leads to unhealthy fast food runs and processed dinners laden with empty calories. To combat this vicious cycle, Olympic athletes learn to plan their meals, saving time and money.

The best meal planning involves athletes keeping a list of their preferred meals for the week. Ensuring it is handy at the grocery store guarantees no forgotten ingredients and limits impulse purchases. 

From healthy lean protein to essential green superfood powder, loading up on nutritious groceries guarantees athletes always have something wholesome on hand for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!

Prioritize Breakfast 

The most important meal of the day, elite Olympians know breakfast is critical. Typically, women require around 2,000 calories per day while men need about 2,500. For athletes training up to 10 hours per day, their daily caloric requirements are much higher. 

It is imperative they properly maintain their strength and stamina with appropriate amounts of healthy foods. Therefore, breakfast is the first and most significant daily chance to fuel their bodies.

Olympic athletes learn to eat anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour from their waketime, and incorporating healthy protein is an absolute must. 

Athletes’ breakfasts often include eggs, lean turkey sausage, low-fat yogurt, or organic oatmeal with berries. This fare not only fuels their morning workout, but it keeps them energized and sustained until the next meal or snack time.

Snack Often

Rather than three square meals, Olympians tend to eat many mini-meals throughout the day. This tactic promotes bodily efficiency and lessens the possibility of fatigue and sluggishness. 

Additionally, ingesting suitable amounts of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein aids in muscle recovery and injury prevention.

To ensure their energy remains stable, Olympic athletes snack on foods high in macronutrients and beneficial calories such as mixed nuts, hummus, fresh vegetables, low-fat cheese, and more.

Consider Sport Specifics

While diets loaded with healthy, nutritious foods are vital for all elite athletes, specific sports require different daily food intakes. Olympians consider what energy output is required of them in their sport before determining the proper caloric intake.

Endurance athletes such as long-distance runners or cyclists require the bulk of their ingested calories to come from healthy, complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates such as whole grains and potatoes enable these athletes to remain fueled for hours. 

Conversely, strength athletes like weightlifters and shotputters require higher levels of protein in their foods. Protein leads to greater muscle density and appears in foods like lean ground turkey, eggs, and nuts.


15-hour training runs and double-day weight lifting sessions sufficiently deplete athletes’ bodies. As such, Olympians learn that replenishing what they lose during these training periods is vital to their future performance.

Liquid forms of calorie restoration remain popular for their ease and portability. Items like protein shakes, nut butter packets, and almond milk provide quick nutrition without being too heavy on an athlete’s stomach. 

Further, copious amounts of water are crucial for Olympians to hydrate and replenish what they have lost in the form of sweat.


Olympic athletes know that what they put into their bodies is just as important as the physical training they endure. 

Proper nutrition allows these elite competitors to practice hard while remaining strong and injury-free. 

Dedication to diet and exercise is necessary for any athletic endeavor, but for an Olympian, it is essential.


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