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.