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How to eat your way to gold

August 2, 2012

Top 10 medal-winning meals.

FEATURE

Want to be a serious competitor when it comes to sports? You need to make sure you’re eating right.

Your body needs the right fuel to perform to the peak of its abilities, so check out these 10 medal-winning meals that will have you going for gold in no time.

Fruit smoothie – Chris Hoy

If you can’t stomach a full meal first thing in the morning when you’ve just woken up, then you should consider following in the footsteps of gold medal winning track cyclist Chris Hoy by having a healthy fruit smoothie. As well as being delicious and simple to make, smoothies are filled to the brim with antioxidants, as well as calcium and vitamins.

Eggs on toast – Dai Greene

400m hurdle world champion Dai Greene lives by a simple philosophy; “the stopwatch never lies”. If you eat badly, then it is highly likely you will perform badly. Follow Dai’s healthy eating example by enjoying a meal of eggs on toast. Eggs are great as a protein boost, which helps to develop and build strength in muscles. Serve the eggs with wholemeal bread, which is a fantastic source of vitamins B and E, and you’re well on your way to a winning meal.

Bran cereal – Jessica Ennis

One of the biggest enemies of healthy eating are those mid-morning munchies that have you running to the vending machine. To avoid this unwanted hunger before lunch you should eat a meal high in fibre, which superstar hepathlete Jessica Ennis does by eating bran cereal in the morning. Not only does this cereal contain fibre to keep her full for a day of gruelling events, it also boasts an impressive amount of iron, which helps to keep energy levels as high as possible.

Grilled chicken – Mo Farah

Like most athletes, Mo Farah is a big believer in getting enough protein, and one way in which he does this is by eating grilled chicken after training sessions. As well as aiding the recovery of his exercise weary muscles because of high protein levels, chicken aIso contains a range of B vitamins, which will give you a great post-workout energy boost. If you want to make this meal as healthy as possible be sure to remove the skin from the chicken, as this drastically reduces the amount of saturated fat in the meat.

Beans on toast – Tom Daley

All too often people complain that they are simply too busy to eat healthily. If anyone can dispel the truth in that excuse, it’s champion diver Tom Daley. Despite his packed schedule Tom always finds the time to eat healthily, and one meal he swears by is beans on toast. Quick and easy to prepare, this dish is a fantastic source of energy because of the low Glycemic Index of baked beans. This means that the energy will be slowly released over time to keep you performing at your best for longer.

Fresh fruit – Linford Christie

As a former 100m European, World, Olympic and Commonwealth Champion, it’s fair to say that Linford Christie knows a thing or two about what kind of food it takes to be a winner. When he was competing Linford was a self-professed fruit addict, often eating so much of it that he wasn’t even tempted by sugary snacks. Practically all fruit has health benefits, but if you want to improve your sporting performance you should consider snacking on apples and bananas. Apples have been proven to help maintain and improve cardiovascular health, and bananas ensure that your body absorbs more nutrients.

Toast with peanut butter – Victoria Pendleton

A lot of people assume peanut butter is an unhealthy snack because of its sweet taste. However, as long as it’s a natural type that’s low in sugar and sodium, peanut butter makes for a great healthy meal because of the magnesium and potassium it contains. This provides a double whammy of strength, as magnesium helps bone development, and potassium encourages muscle building. Track cyclist Victoria Pendleton tops this meal with sliced banana, to add even more potassium to the dish.

Avocado with salmon – Paula Radcliffe

Running 26.2 miles with a poor diet behind you would be tricky to say the least, but to do so at the speed Paula Radcliffe runs a marathon would be competitive suicide. Paula’s diet is meticulously planned, and one healthy meal she comes back to time and time again is avocado topped with salmon. As well as muscle-building protein, salmon contains high levels of Omega-3, which is great for keeping your mind sharp. Underneath all those tasty health benefits you’ve got the avocado, which is a veritable heart-healing, vitamin-filled super fruit. What could be better?

Pasta – Andy Murray

Did you know that Andy Murray has to eat a staggering 6,000 calories a day to meet the enormous energy demands of professional tennis? Obviously these calories have to come from healthy sources, including a variety of pasta dishes. The carbohydrates in pasta help to top up energy levels, and when served with lean meats such as chicken and turkey, this will also promote muscle recovery and strength development. To make this dish even healthier, serve it with whole wheat pasta to enjoy the added benefits of more fibre, iron and folic acid.

Braising steak – Rebecca Adlington

Swimming is an extremely physically demanding sport that needs strong muscles and high amounts of energy, especially when you’re competing at the highest level like Rebecca Adlington. An evening favourite of this champion swimmer is braising steak, which is a great source of – yep you guessed it – protein. Starting to notice a pattern here? This protein-packed dish helps Rebecca build, and perhaps most importantly, maintain the muscles she needs to power through the water at breakneck speed.

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