This Is How Olympic Athletes Actually Eat, According to a Team USA Nutritionist

Olympic Athlete Diet
Photo: Stocksy

As I continue to watch coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the thought that seems to surface the most is simply… how?! How do those skaters trust each other enough to know that their partner will catch them as they twirl through the air? How do the alpine skiers barrel down the side of a mountain at 65 miles per hour like it's nothing? And truly, how does one even entertain the idea of skeleton?

Natural-born talent, painstaking practice, general badassery—these are all valid answers, I know. But we also can't underestimate the less grandiose daily rituals of these world-class athletes—down to the way they fuel up for training. And since I don't see myself plummeting head-first down an icy track anytime soon, eating like an Olympian seems like a decent compromise of vicarious living.

For that, I turned to Mike Israetel, Ph.D., former primary nutritionist of the U.S. Olympic team and the head science consultant and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization. Below he shares how Olympic athletes actually eat—and some gold medal tips to borrow at home.