Elite Meals For Elite Athletes

Elite Meals For Elite Athletes

I want to begin by thanking the 3 Athletes that sent me information and pictures of what a day of eating consists of for them. I wanted to give people some insight on what other athletes thought about nutrition and how they applied it to their daily needs and meals. I got the idea for this post when Athlete #3 sent me an example of his daily log where he tracks his goals, workouts, nutrition, and daily notes. These 3 guys are some of the most fit and well-trained athletes I have had the pleasure of playing and training with and it is no wonder why they are all still having very successful careers.  I did however keep their names anonymous for this blog.

Please see the examples below. All the descriptions and meals are in each athlete’s own words. After the examples I will point out some interesting things that differentiate each meal plan. I will also answer a great question i got on last week’s blog on hydration for specific sports and how it is different.

ATHLETE #1 (This was a regular practice day for us)

8:00 a.m.: Wake up. I try to consume something right away to jumpstart my metabolism and begin hydration. Usually it’s a protein shake. We all know the negative effects of sleeping too little, but i believe it is also athletically harmful to sleep too much. Getting much beyond the 9 hour mark has often affected me negatively (dehydration and lethargic)

  • 9:00 a. m: Usually my largest meal. Today it’s granola (be careful what you’re buying in terms of sugar content), yogurt, and fruit). I also made a two egg omelet with olive oil, a little garlic salt, spinach, tomatoes, green and red peppers. Canola Oil and Olive Oil is much less fattening than vegetable oil or butter. I also stay away from the cheese.
  • Noon: Post Practice and workout I usually grab one more protein shake and a piece of fruit at the rink. At this point I’m usually slamming Gatorade and water. The faster you get it in your system post practice, the faster any substance can begin to aid in recovery.
  • 2 pm.: Today I ate a can of tuna and an apple
  • 6 pm: Pasta Stir-Fry (vegetables mixed in), Steamed Broccoli, and a Mixed-Greens Salad. I try to consume my fruit more towards the front end of the day because of the natural sugar that helps keep you awake and energized.
  • 9 pm: Eating something right before bed helps in recovery and energy, especially for an athlete. Tonight I had a can of soup. My food intake has to last me through the night which is why I try to eat something right before bed. When you go 12 hours without food, your body begins to shut down to conserve what little it hasn’t used.  This meal is important for me
ATHLETE #2 (Gameday) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Piece of whole wheat toast
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Individual Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup or so of Low sugar Granola
  • On the side of the plate – 1 multi vitamin, 1 Vitamin B complex (helps immune system), 2 fish oil pills
 Pre game meal (6 hours before game)
  • 1 Chicken breast with Italian dressing and Italian bread crumbs
  • Whole wheat Penne with a Vodka Sauce and Parmesan Cheese
  • Honey wheat Garlic toast
  • Salad or broccoli on occasion
Postgame Dinner
  • 1 Lean Pork chop
  • BBQ sauce for some more flavor
  • Half a large sweet potato with olive oil and Balsamic
  • Steamed veggies
  • Usually a glass of wine

ATHLETE #3 (Daily  journal)

Date 10.17.11

Time to Bed -10:45/Time Up-7:50/ Hours of Sleep-9:05


Power thought of the day-Mastery

Goals today

  1. Finish scoring chances
  2. Protect The Puck
  3. On ice conditioning

Meditation in the AM

Meal #1 (8:am)

  • Protein/vegetable shake.
  • 2 eggs,
  • 2 pieces of small fiber toast with almond butter and natural jelly,
  • natural yogurt with blueberries,
  • black tea.

(9:40 am) 20 minute bike ride- 2 sets of 2 mins on/2 mins off; 4 sets of 1 min on/1 min off; 4 sets of 30 seconds on/30 seconds off (Heart rate AVG 154 Max 170)

Meal #2 (10 am) Post bike ride

  • Herbalife endurance with 24 oz of water
  • 3 Poloquin BCAAs

Pratice(12 pm)(After-conditioning on ice;4 sets of blue line-red line back to blue-to the far blue)

Post Practice Recovery shake-North Force Strength with 12 0z of water

Meal #3 (2 pm)

  • spaghetti with bacon, egg, white sauce and chicken
  • coffee

Meal #4 (5:30 pm)

small lobster salad followed by a 6:30 dinner which was chicken with peppers, artichokes and quinoa

Meal #5 (8:30 pm)

Finishing portion of left over dinner.

Daily supplements-6 poloquin Multivitamin and omega 3’s, 1 glucosamine chondroitin, 3000-4000 IU’s vitamin d3 Calcium (125%) Poloquin 2 Zinc (AM) 2 mag (PM) http://www.charlespoliquin.com/store.aspx

Daily Notes-Felt great getting up this morning (sunny)… pushed through a good bike ride and had a great practice… Powerplay was excellent, legs had great jump, sharp with the puck, and i finished my scoring chance with goals. Messed around with the boys and had a fun day at the rink

Summarizing Notes For Athletes

-All 3 athletes have such a great  balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

-Eggs, yogurt, multivitamins, fish oils, veggies, fruits,  and pasta, were 3 foods that were all consistent. What does that mean for you? Add them to your day.

-Notice how there was no milk in anyone’s day? Many athletes are steering clear of milk after more and more studies are showing how it affects your digestive system and opting for a calcium supplement instead. (more on this to come later)

-Athlete 3 was very specific and keeps a daily log starting out with a power thought of the day,goals for the day, and meditation. He also closes with daily notes on how he did on his previously established goals. This is a great example of how focused and specific some athletes are in their habits. I’m not saying everyone has to be this specific but for some, this works great.

-Thought it was very interesting how immediately after waking up a shake is consumed right away(even before breakfast) to get the metabolism fired up. Athlete 3 throws some greens in his shake to get a head start on his vegetable intake for the day.

-Whole wheat is used in place of “white” or “flour” products in many of the examples.

-Eating healthy allows you to get MOST vitamins and nutrients from natural sources. However, some are hard to get from food alone so  a supplement may be needed. Some examples are; Vitamin d3 supplement, Magnesium/Zinc supplement, Omega 3 supplement.

Addition to Last weeks blog. Sports specific hydration. 
Sports specific hydration is important. An endurance athlete running a marathon in a heated environment will need much more fluid intake and carbohydrate replenishment than a baseball player. This is why it is important to find your sweat rate. If you are a top line player that logs 30 minutes/game versus a 4th liner who logs 10 minutes/game the fluid intake will vary greatly. The top line player will probably need a carbohydrate/electrolyte replenishment drink after the first or second period whereas the 4th liner is probably fine with staying with water because they have not used much energy.  You don’t want to over hydrate, feel bloated, or the need to pee during competition. Although research on dehydration’s effect on muscle strength and anaerobic performance is equivocal and more work is needed, some scientific research shows that dehydration has little impact on brief ,high intensity workouts.
(according to The American College of Sports Medicine) Weight-cutting athletes in sports like wrestling, boxing, martial arts, and body-building have taken advantage of this for years, often dropping 5+ kg in the days leading up to a weigh-in to make a weight category. Most of this weight loss is primarily water. Then in the short time between weigh-in and competition, they would try to gain back as much weight as possible. Their sport fits the scientific profile quite well, consisting of brief 1-3 min bursts of maximum intensity with short recovery breaks. So while hydration may not be as important for some sports or athletes, since there is no harm in staying hydrated, play it safe and suck down some water.   http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/Hydration_and_anaerobic_performance.htm?page=2 (For more on this)

For all the women that read my blog, check out http://beingla.com/. A couple of friends of mine from Notre Dame have a great website and business all about being fit and healthy.


2 responses

  1. Hi!

    My name is Chelsea and I am a junior at Saint Mary’s College. My dad stumbled upon your blog while researching his own diet and e-mailed me the link. I am an athlete myself (rock climber) and I am planning on training for the holy half marathon this year at ND! Your blog is very helpful and the diet suggestions are great! I completed P90X last summer and followed that diet plan (kind of), but the small meals thing was more difficult for me, but I will try some of your tips this semester! Thanks and keep writing!

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