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Eat Like An Athlete (INFOGRAPHIC)

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

High performance athletes may eat as many as 9,000 calories per day. That’s more than 3-4x as many calories as a young, active healthy male typically consumes (generally in the 2,500-3,000 calories/day range). According to one source

  • Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day while training for the Beijing Summer Olympics Games in 2008.
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson eats seven meals a day (5,000 calories / 10 lbs. of food).
  • Houston’s own J.J. Watt eats between 6,000 and 9,000 calories per day.

Your Performance-Geared Diet

An infographic recently published by Mayo Clinic shares some suggestions for how you can fuel your body for everyday performance. (We’ve shared the entire infographic below in this post.) Whether you’re looking to get into top athletic shape or simply want to have more energy in the morning and throughout your day, don’t miss these suggestions. Of course, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new diet. The diet tips in this blog post are not intended as medical advice.

Breakfast That Sets the Pace for Your Day

You may have heard your coach or Houston sports medicine doctor tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. Protein-rich breakfasts provide energy that can keep you going for longer throughout the day. Make sure your breakfast contains a mixture of lean proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fluids. Want an easy way to get all this? Try a Greek yogurt parfait with oats, flaxseed and fresh berries.

Snack Your Way Through the Day

We’ve all heard it’s better to eat five or so small meals throughout the day (as opposed to three large meals). Whether you fully embrace this approach or not, try healthy snacking when hungry. Your body needs lean protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Trail mix with fruits, nuts and seeds is a great option, as are hard-boiled eggs with fruits and vegetables.

Eating Right for Your Workout

Athletes who are working out should hydrate and fuel up with carbohydrates before hitting the gym or playing field. Immediately after exercise, it’s important to refuel, rebuild and rehydrate with carbohydrates, protein (usually 15-30 grams), and fluids. Granola bars, bananas and water are great for workout preparation, while low-fat chocolate milk can be a great post-workout option!

How to Eat for Athletic Performance (INFOGRAPHIC)

See the full infographic from Mayo Clinic below.

Get Help from a Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

For more information about how a Houston sports medicine doctor can help you achieve your goals, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546 or schedule online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.