Eating a nutritionally balanced diet, at exactly the right time of day or night, is important – whether you are an Olympic athlete or simply building on your personal fitness.
The food supplied for the athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Village must cater to a diverse range of cultures, ages and special dietary needs. Like anyone who wants to perform at their best level, each athlete strives to get the best food that will help them specifically reach their goals at the Games. At Olympic food halls, more than 14 million meals will be served to 15,000 individuals across 40 separate locations during the Games.
The Olympic food hall shopping list includes:
• 25,000 loaves of bread
• 232 tons of potatoes
• 82+ tons of seafood
• 31 tons of poultry items
• 100+ tons of meat
• 75,000 liters of milk
• 19 tons of eggs
• 21 tons of cheese
• 330 tons of fruit and vegetables
Notice there’s no processed food or sugar on the list: How does your home shopping list stack up?
Specific sports require specific foods. And everyone needs fluids.
• Athletes in different sports approach their diets differently
Power sport athletes often take in additional creatine and protein to increase
muscle size and explosiveness
Endurance sport athletes may turn to caffeine and load up on carbohydrates
prior to exercise to maximize their endurance
• If the athletes take supplements, they have to ensure that they do not inadvertently
include any illegal substances. To boost performance, they’ll stick to:
• During exercise, most competitors will drink plenty of fluids
Are you sure your family has enough fluids when they work out?
Ever-changing Olympic diets
Olympian diets have varied over the years as new research and fads take hold.
• Ancient Greeks consumed breads, vegetables and fruits, cheese and fish
This eating pattern has been linked to a low rate of heart disease
• Wealthy Greeks could afford meat and high protein legumes to build muscle and
did not eat a lot of breads, fruits or vegetables
An ancient Olympic runner who won several competitions while following
a meat-only diet started a meat-only craze
• Other ancient diet fads also included
Avoiding bread right before competition
Eating dried figs, thought to build muscle and stamina
• In 1936, many Olympic athletes began to add more meat to their diet and loaded
up on carbohydrates
Athletes from England, Finland and Holland regularly consumed porridge
Americans ate shredded wheat or corn flakes in milk
Chileans and Italians ate pasta
Japanese consumed a pound of rice daily
• By 1952 the diets of Olympic athletes were focused on high energy and became
higher in fat and protein
40% of energy came from carbohydrates
20% from protein
40% from fat
• Athletes in the XXX Olympic Games remain focused on the foods they eat:
They will be aiming to get every advantage they can, and will seek advice
of sports dietitians to maximize their performance
Dietitians will make sure they eat the right food before competition, during
the exercise and afterward to aid recovery
Are you and your family eating a nutritionally balanced plan to develop your Olympic potential?
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