How Athletes Eat

There was an article by a doctor in the New York Times recently that said that the Olympic athletes that burn 4000 to 5000 calories in an event should be eating ice cream, french fries, hamburgers, etc. I had to ask myself “does this man work for McDonald’s?”

If you take at an athlete like Lance Armstrong, drug allegations aside, he did two things: he worked like a dog and he changed his diet. If you look at people like Michael Phelps or any other high caliber athlete they will tell you that they had to change their diet. When I came to this country doing Iron mans I would see everyone cycling out to Nyack, eating all these full fat muffins and I would look at them and think they have just done 100 miles on the bike, why don’t they look ripped and shredded? A lot of this is related to diet. Yes these people are great athletes but if they ate better they would be amazing athletes. Lance Armstrong proved that point. Chris Carmichael took over his training and diet and completely leaned him out, still feeding him his 3000 or 4000 calorie diet but quality food instead of foods that were high in bad fat and would leave you feeling sluggish and with no energy.

So everyone out there that read that article and is doing huge amounts of exercise, imagine what you want to look like. You want muscle and you want to be lean and you don’t want to have a high body fat. You will have much more power and energy if you are eating quality food and calories. All of those things that this doctor is telling you to eat are high in sugars and fats make you lethargic and do not give you any energy. If you need to take in extra calories get them from foods higher in protein and carbs but foods that are not high bad sugars and fats. Eat lentils, brown rice, lean protein shakes, fig newtons. I don’t believe in huge amounts of fat in foods but yes your body needs carbohydrates, then protein, and then last of all good fats. If you run out of carbs I don’t care how much fat you have but you are not going to be finishing that race.