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Weird Diets of Olympic Athletes

2012 Olympic Athletes on Weird Diets

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Prevention here on FitSugar!

The surprising foods that power the pros

By Stephanie Castillo, Prevention

If you're anything like us, you've spent the better part of these last few weeks watching the Olympic Trials and, possibly, drooling over Ryan Lochte's abs. (We jest, but when you consider how sexist the Olympics can be, we figure we might as well get in a look, too.) In any case, you've probably also noticed that the trials — and some of its athletes — are sponsored by fast food chains, which got us wondering: what do these men and women actually eat to fuel their race for the finish line? Some strange things, as it turns out.

Here are 12 athletes, most of whom are competing in London's Summer games, with eating habits you never would have guessed.

Usain Bolt
Curious what sustains the fastest man alive? We've got two words for you: fast food — pun not intended. At the 2008 Beijing games, Bolt was unimpressed by the local cuisine — so he kept his strength and speed up with chicken nuggets, as well as yams. In fact, after Bolt broke the world 100-meter record in Beijing, his father revealed the secret for his superhuman speed to The Daily Telegraph: "It is definitely the Trelawny yam."


See what Venus Williams, Michael Phelps, and Lochte eat after the break!

Four New Ridiculously Unhealthy Fast Food Items

Venus Williams
After this tennis star was diagnosed with Sjögren's Syndrome — an incurable autoimmune disease — in 2011, she adopted a raw vegan diet to better deal with her symptoms. We know the word "raw" can be a little intimidating, but it's essentially when your daily food intake consists of uncooked fruits and veggies. Williams, who will head to London and play Olympic doubles with her sister Serena, loves to load up on green juices, sprout salads, and lentils.

Should You Go Vegetarian? Read About Five Women Who Did

Kerri Walsh
Given what we know about frozen foods — they can be packed with sodium and put you at risk for E. coli and salmonella if not heated properly — our guess would be athletes skip them altogether. But not six-feet-of-sunshine Kerri Walsh, the beach volleyballer looking to score a third gold medal this summer in London. Her favorite breakfast: frozen waffles with almond butter and agave. Her other guilty pleasures include lattes and Mexican food. (Wondering how often you can afford to indulge in your favorite treats? We've got the answer.)

Louis Smith
It’s all about exotic foods for this gymnast, who was a bronze medalist in Beijing and is leading Britain’s gymnastics team this Summer. He told The Guardian, “I've [eaten] some pretty funky foods over the years. I went to the Ukraine and ate sliced sheep's tongue, and in France, they gave me sheep's testicles. I make a good roast duck with plum sauce . . . I was up against sprinter Christian Malcolm and I won.” Interesting — if not exactly appetizing.

Seven Toxic Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips

Michael Phelps
Thanks to a Saturday Night Live spoof, many believe this record-breaking swimmer eats 12,000 calories a day. In fact, he eats closer to 8,000. According to some reports, here's what his calories can look like: three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, mayonnaise; an omelet; a bowl of grits; three slices of French toast with powdered sugar; and three chocolate-chip pancakes — all before lunch. Later, it's pounds of pasta and whole pizzas.

Eight Things You Don’t Know About Calories

Ryan Lochte
Now here's a shocker: To prepare for the London Games, Lochte stopped eating at McDonald's "pretty much every day." He ditched the drive-through and swapped candy and soda for heart-healthier alternatives.

Six More Athletes on Unusual Diets!

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