Eat like a (healthy) maniac, if you're burning the energy
With a training schedule that complex, diet and nutrition are extremely important. Imagine doing a three hour practice after eating a pizza donut. Might not be a pretty sight, especially if you don't wait 30 minutes before you get in the pool.
Protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are the three macronutrients to track, all of which contribute to high-level performance in different ways. If you're trying to go build muscle, for example, you'll probably go heavy on the protein, whereas distance and endurance athletes may focus more on the carbs.
"After calculating it with my nutritionist, I consume about 5,000 calories a day when I’m in season. During taper (or resting period), I usually consume about 3,500 calories a day. But that’s definitely not as significant as Michael Phelps, who eats 10,000 calories a day."
Compare that to our daily recommended 2,000 calorie diet (which is either shamefully overachieved or extremely underachieved).
And Olympians are constantly eating. As philosopher-swimmer Ryan Lochte recently said, "If I’m not eating, then something is wrong."
"I just eat whenever I feel the need," adds Ortiz-Cañavate. "I usually eat a snack before morning practice, then breakfast at 11:00 am, lunch at 1:30 pm. And depending on the practice schedule, I’ll eat dinner, than a snack, or vice versa."
"Breakfast is usually an avocado shake made with honey, chia seeds, and milk, two eggs (usually sunny side up), and bacon and sausage. Lunch might be any carb-filled meal, like pasta, fried rice, or ramen. For dinner, I’ll have any type of protein, such as chicken, lamb, steak with vegetables. Oh, and I need dessert. Preferably ice cream, I consider it my snack."
Ice cream as a snack? I’ll take it.