Rio 2016 – What are our athlete’s eating?
The Rio 2016 Olympic will involve an enormous population from different parts of the world. According to the Rio 2016 organising committee, each group has unique requirements for food and beverage across multiple locations throughout the games, creating significant service complexity. Their aim will be to fulfil essential dietary needs, whilst also helping to represent the cultural identity of the host country. Brazilian products and recipes will have a prominent position in all menus to enrich the overall experience for all groups. Brazilian chefs will be reinterpreting dishes that can be prepared quickly, are easy to eat, and use Brazilian ingredients in new, innovative ways.
The number one concern for Rio 2016 is Food Safety – Many athletes including our very own Bronte Campbell (22 – Swimming) are packing suitcases full of pre-packaged foods from their home countries with aims to avoid becoming sick pre-competition.
McDonald’s at the Games?
There are many potential obstacles to Olympic success – injury, bad luck, bad timing or just an opponent who picks the day of the final to turn in the performance of their life. You can also add a surprise contender to that list: McDonald’s.
According to Greg Shaw, lead nutritionist for the Australian swimming team, the size and scale of the dining hall at the Olympic Village has the potential to spell disaster for athletes who typically follow a rigid eating pattern.
“The centrepiece of the eating area in the Village is a vast McDonald’s restaurant, with the fast-food chain having been an Olympic sponsor since 1976. And, of course, it’s all free.”
Reports say that the dining hall is the size of a football field where athletes can literally get any type of food they want any time of day.
While the Olympics include many of the finest athletes on the planet, the fact remains that even Olympians are as susceptible to junk food cravings just like the rest of us. Luckily our Aussie athletes seem committed to success.
AUSSIE ATHLETE DIETS
CATE CAMPBELL – 24, Swimming
Cate is the current world record holder in the 100m freestyle. Training alongside sister Bronte, the duo were the first Australian siblings to qualify for the same swimming event at an Olympics (the 50m freestyle) at the London games.
A typical day’s eating?
6am Pre-training snack: A bowl of Uncle Toby’s muesli.
8.30am post training: Protein shake
9am second breakfast: 2 eggs on toast.
12pm lunch: Usually a salad with lots of veggies (beans, capsicum, broccoli), apple, dried cranberries, walnuts and some kind of protein, usually either chicken or beef.
3pm pre-training snack: Usually some toast or a bowl of Uncle Toby’s oats, or some yoghurt and a price of fruit. Plus another cup of coffee with a biscuit.
6pm post training: Protein shake
6.45pm dinner: I’m a terrible cook, so something very simple that includes meat, vegies and carbs.
Competition day: Anything really bland; plain pasta or rice with a bit of salt, white bread with butter, or cereal. Whatever I can keep down!
After the Games: Pizza! It goes down a treat.
WILL RYAN – 27, sailing
Will is set to make his Olympic debut at Rio, alongside teammate and defending Olympic champion Mathew Belcher in the men’s 470 class event.
A typical day’s eating: Due to the nature of our style of boat, we are quite restricted in what we eat due to the individual weight requirements.
Breakfast: Weetbix wherever possible, some low sugar muesli, fresh blueberries, Greek yoghurt and light milk. Tea, either black or lemon.
During training: A combination of pre-packaged bars all low in sugar.
Go-to snack: A smoothie of banana, coconut water, Greek yoghurt, chia seeds, and ice. Bananas are viewed as being ‘unlucky’ on boats, so I only eat them after returning to shore!
JESS TRENGOVE – 28, Marathon
Jess, will be running her second Olympic marathon in Rio, following her debut in London.
A typical day’s eating?
To start the morning off: With a piece of toast with honey and sometimes a quick coffee.
After training: I aim to consume a combination of quality protein and carbohydrates to facilitate the recovery process. On most mornings this is in the form of a banana pancake. I also love homemade porridge with apple slices, nuts, seeds and yoghurt.
For lunch: I usually have a wrap or open sandwich with sliced meat or smoked salmon, avocado, mushrooms and any other veggies that I have in the house at the time.
For dinners: Range from curries in the slow cooker with rice to stir fries, salmon with sweet potato and salad, steak and vegetables, pulled pork burritos and homemade pizzas. Meals at my parents’ place are my favourites. Mum makes some amazing dishes from the Ottolenghi cook books!
Competition day: My breakfast before a race is usually a few slices of toast with banana and honey. I consume this about 2-3 hours beforehand. On the morning of a marathon I add in a few extra carbohydrates, maybe a small bowl of cereal or rice crackers. I snack on rice crackers or energy chews in the hours leading up to the race.
Go-to snack for energy: A piece of toast with ricotta, banana and honey or energy balls or bars.
After the games: The local South American cuisine — a good steak perhaps?! I look forward to trying the Brazilian acai bowls and smoothies, too.