SARASOTA COUNTY – Rigorous training sessions, long days on the water, constant focus. Yeah, I’d say that’s enough to build up an appetite.

“They kind of need to maintain a regular eating pattern. Most of these athletes are eating 5–7 times a day,” U.S. Rowing Performance Dietitian, Liz Fusco, said.

No, you heard that right. 5–7 times a day!

“Protein is kind of a base. So, at breakfast that can be Greek yogurt, some type of milk that has protein in it, eggs. At lunch and dinner, that can be lean proteins from animals like chicken, turkey, steak. Or it can be some vegetable proteins like beans, lagoons, and tofu,” Fusco said.

Okay, so we’re only at three meals. But these athletes have plenty of ways to fill in those gaps.

“Some athletes like to have mini meals. So they might actually take some leftovers in a Tupperware and have that again a couple hours later. Some athletes will just choose to have something simple like a protein bar, some jerky and a piece of fruit. Something they can easily stick into their backpack,” Fusco said.

But hey everyone is different and it’s all about finding what’s right for you.

“Pasta and rice, for me, especially. I try to eat red meat,” Member of Team Israel Moran Samuel said.

And much like rowing itself, timing is key.

“We like to try to have them have more high fiber, maybe higher fat, more complete meals, about 3 or 4 hours outside of their effort or training. Immediately beforehand maybe top up with some simple carbohydrates like a piece of fruit,” Fusco said.

No matter what diet plan these world class rowers are on. When it’s all said and done, there’s only going to be one food on their mind.

“Pizza,” Samuel said.

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Ben Bobick
Ben Bobick is a multimedia journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a May 2016 graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Sports Journalism Certificate from the John C. Curley Center for Sports Journalism. At Penn State, Ben hosted a radio show four days a week and was a member of the Emmy Award winning student-run newscast, the Centre County Report where he was a sports anchor and reporter. Ben was also part of the inaugural class of the Penn State Hollywood Program. He interned for KABC-TV in Los Angeles as an entertainment intern. He had the opportunity to interview Grammy award winning artist Kendrick Lamar, Fifth Harmony, Jennifer Garner and the season 22 cast of Dancing with the Stars among others. In his spare time, Ben loves to watch and play sports. Being from Pittsburgh, he’s a big Steelers, Pirates and Penguins fan. Ben is an avid golfer and loves to hit the course any time he can. He is very active on social media, so feel free to tweet him (@BeBo_Here) or get in touch with him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BenBobickTV). For story ideas or a news tip you can also get in touch by e-mailing him at ben.bobick@snntv.com.