Tips from top athletes


If you train intensely over long periods of time, your body needs the right fuel to be able to perform at its best. It doesn’t matter whether you run, play basketball, ride a bike or swim – burning calories means using up energy and you have to put this energy back into your body.

Professional athletes are very conscious about their diet for good reason: They pay attention to the foods they eat and know exactly how these affect their performance and their health. Proper nutrition is the be-all and end-all in competitions – it can even be the deciding factor in whether you end up in first or second place! We have compiled the most important information and a few tips for you from the world’s best top athletes on everything to do with food.


Correctly dose macronutrients

The three most important nutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fat. All three are important to be able to achieve outstanding athletic performance, but in different amounts. Carbohydrates are our most important source of energy, they supply both the brain and muscles with energy. Protein is important for building muscle and fat contains essential fatty acids. – You should only consume fat in small amounts, however, as it has a considerable energy density. It is important that you supply your body with these three macronutrients in the correct proportions, depending on the type of sport you do. Every body type is different and every sport requires different forms of energy: endurance, muscle strength, cardio, etc. Therefore, you have to find the ideal mix of all three macronutrients that is tailored to your body and your sport. Here are a few tips from the world’s best top athletes:

I generally eat a lot of protein and try not to consume too many carbohydrates. I make sure that my meals are as colorful as possible.

Tom Daley, diver

I largely avoid dairy products and sugar and eat a lot of fish and lean proteins.

Nneka Ogwumike, basketball player for the LA Sparks

Timing is everything

Athletes pay attention not only to what they eat, but also when they eat – especially on competition days. If you eat too much or even the wrong combination of nutrients before a competition, it can make you feel weak and tired. And if you don’t eat soon enough afterwards, this can prevent the body from rebuilding the muscles and replenishing the energy reserves, which in turn Overtraining symptoms can lead. This is how the pros eat before and after a competition:

Before a game or a competition, I prefer to eat something that keeps me full for a long time, but not too close to a game. Most of the time I eat fish with rice and vegetables.

Nneka Ogwumike, basketball player for the LA Sparks

I eat a diverse diet. At competitions I always have different granola bars and snacks with me. Before or after the competition I like to eat Greek yogurt with granola.

Tom Daley, diver

Drink a lot

The human body consists of more than 50 percent water. Without enough fluids, your body cannot make optimal use of the nutrients you eat – no matter how healthy you eat. Using a liquid calculator like this you can easily keep an eye on your fluid balance and prevent cramps and fatigue during a competition. Many athletes can confirm it: if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. So don’t let it get that far and drink enough before, during and after training.


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