3 ways to fuel like an Olympic athlete

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by Maya Nahra, Registered Dietitian / Special to azfamily.com

GMAZ segments by Yetta Gibson

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 3:11 AM

Winter hydration - We tend to associate drinking more with warmer temperatures when, in fact, the likelihood of dehydration is accelerated in winter weather. Fruits and vegetables are one easy way to get in extra water. Did you know zucchinis are composed of more than 90 percent water?

On top of guzzling H20, Olympic athletes are encouraged to consume plenty of water-rich fruits and veggies such as zucchinis, cucumbers, celery, and radishes.

Snowboarder Elena Hight sticks to fresh organic foods and especially loves her veggies. One of her favorite meals includes a vegetable stir-fry over quinoa.

Pre-competition fuel
- The foods an athlete eats directly before training and competition are vital to performance.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, especially since Olympic athletes typically start their day around 6 a.m.

American luger Erin Hamlin mixes Greek yogurt in her pancake mix for a healthier, more protein-packed breakfast. Beyond breakfast.

Olympic athletes are constantly on-the-go and require portable options that are energizing and wholesome, too.

Slopestyle Olympic skier Grete Eliassen, among many others, including Jamie Greubel, Todd Lodwick, and Chris Creveling, swear by KIND bars. They are all natural and made with wholesome ingredients like nuts and dried fruit.

Recovery time - Athletes need carbs, proteins, and fluids to ensure the body can rebuild and restore muscle tissue following practice or competition. No matter what your workout of choice is, your body is no exception.

Adam Korzun, the sports dietitian for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, will occasionally prepare carb-heavy breakfasts for dinner (think pancakes and bacon!) for the Olympic athletes with whom he works.

Alpine ski gold medalist Bode Miller is an avid believer in this model and enjoys a good waffle or two for dinner.

For an on-the-go option, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content of plain milk, water, and most sports drinks, making it the perfect way to replenish tired muscles. Hockey player Zach Parise loves chocolate milk before and after games. He is amongst a slew of Olympians who use chocolate milk for recovery.


Registered dietitian Maya Nahra is known as the leading Behavioral Nutrition Expert who teaches women dieters how to stop obsessive thinking about their food and weight so they can live their Intentful™ life.

"I've been overweight, I've been underweight, and I've been everything in between," she says. "And one thing I know for sure... it's never been about the food."

Nahra is the founder of My Intentful Life, a company whose mission is to help women see their own innate beauty through a shift in the infectious diet mindset.

Once an overweight, yo-yo dieter, binge-eater herself, Nahra struggled with the concepts of a healthy body and beauty. Her story has touched the hearts of her audience for years. Though not without its dark corners, Nahra has taken her story, picked herself up and became self- and school-taught expert in food, nutrition, and mindset.

Her approach is one of real-life application and relatability with a strong emphasis on inspiration.

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