Treating Your Body Like an Olympic Athlete

Hi there:

So I was watching a replay of a presentation made by Alex Charfen at Funnelhacking Live 2016 on The Entrepreneur's Mind.  He was talking about the importance of removing stress and noise from our lives to free up creativity.  One of the examples he gave was stress and noise on our bodies.  Specifically, he said, in so many words, that we should treat our bodies the way an olympic athlete treats theirs.

Now, I figure he probably didn't mean that we should treat our bodies exactly like an olympic athlete does.  I mean, who has time to train 8 hours a day? When would we have time to do anything else? But it got me wondering how does an olympic athlete treat their body and what we can learn from that? So I did some research (okay just some Google searches) and this is what I found out.

What olympic athletes eat.

Gone are the crazy carbo loading diets adopted by athletes like Michael Phelps.  He shocked us all when he revealed the three fried egg sandwiches “loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise,” according to the Wall Street Journal and the five-egg omelet, grits, and heaping piles of greasy French toast and chocolate chip pancakes. For lunch and dinner, he used to eat nearly two pounds of pasta, plus sandwiches and pizza.

Nowadays, according to Vox, olympic athletes eat much healthier and consume a lot less carbs, with lunch usually consisting of grilled chicken and asparagus, smoothies, stir fries, chicken noodle soup, and fresh squeezed juice.

Training for olympic athletes

According to the Kinsa Health Blog, olympic athletes stay healthy by adopting individualized training routines and getting 8-10 hours sleep a night.  Michael Phelps is reported to sleep in a special altitude chamber.

Post workout recovery

Olympic athletes are big on staying hydrated (they can lose 2-3% of their body weight from dehydration which can affect their aerobic performance). If you're going to drink five bottles a day, make one bottle a drink to replace electolytes (Powerade, Gatorade or one of Propel's unflavored waters for less sugar) and make the other four bottles water.

You want to hydrate within 20 minutes after a workout and have a balanced 200 calorie or less protein filled snack (like greek yogurt and fruit or a Kind nut and spices bar) or a balanced meal with healthy carbs and protein within 60 minutes after a workout,

Olympic athletes are also big on getting the right type of rest for sore muscles. According to Shape Magazine, some hop into cryothereapy chambers to cool off after grueling workouts.  You can get similar effects from taking cold showers, jumping into a cold lake, or taking an ice bath.  

Some athletes avoid delayed onset muscle soreness by compression through massages and compression sleeves. A relatively inexpensive way to achieve this is by taping sore muscles and joints with kinesiology tape ($13 a roll).

Let's see.  I had a Chocolate Blueberry Mango smoothie this morning and I feel inspired to get in a workout today, but I draw the line at cold showers or cryotherapy chambers. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Until next time.