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Wake Up To The Power Of One

Eight Nutrition Secrets from Elite Athletes 

We all know that appropriately fueling your body is crucial to maximize results and achieve peak performance. Where better to look for fuel inspiration than the elite athletes that are killing it in their sports? If you’ve ever looked at a pro athlete and wondered, “what’s their secret,” then this post is for you. 

“Cleaning up your diet is hard. There were ups and downs. When I did clean up my diet, I saw a significant change in how I felt—I've reminded myself of that time and time again.”
— Michael Phelps

Here are eight nutrition secrets from some of the world’s top athletes. 

1. Base fuel on your day’s activities

Olympic snowboarder Elina Hight says she bases her food on whatever the day demands. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, she optimizes for the intensity, recovery demands, and the type of exercise. The body needs different things, so Hight eats differently for training, competition, and regular exercise.

2. Re-fueling is crucial

Fueling up is important, but refueling after a session is downright essential. Your body needs to receive the necessary nutrients to rebuild and give you access to those gains! Emma Coburn, a steeplechase World Champion, makes sure she eats something within a 30-60 minute window post activity. This is the short window available for the body to restore your muscles’ glycogen, also known as the anabolic window. You probably know there are mixed reviews on whether or not the window exists, but some evidence suggests that eating within a certain time frame does help your muscles recover and make better use of the glycogen you’re providing.

If you’re wondering how to optimize your post-workout, check out this blog post.

3. Recover with CBD

FIFA World Cup champion, Megan Rapinoe, is known to be an advocate for many causes, but picked up CBD in 2019 as well. She’s found CBD to be beneficial in recovery, pain management, and generally as a more natural option for things like sleeping and flying. One of our previous blog posts lays out four ways athletes can benefit from CBD which are: reduced inflammation, acting as an alternative to NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, improved sleep (and focus!), and improved gut health.

If you’re interested in a CBD product for pain management that’s been developed by athletes for athletes, check out the DRYWORLD CBD Pain Relief Cream. We also offer DRYWORLD Complete Recovery drink, which, aside from CBD, is packed with other proven, natural anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric.

4. Chocolate Milk

CBD not your thing? How about chocolate milk? Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky has been recovering from swims with chocolate milk since she was 13 years old and says it’s an essential part of her recovery routine. Why? It offers the perfect balance of carbs and protein, plus it tastes great! For a simple addition of protein and carbs to your diet, take a page out of Ledecky’s books.

Here’s a clip of Ledecky swimming lengths while balancing a glass of chocolate milk on her head.

If Olympic athletes are recovering with chocolate milk, then what’s the deal with protein shakes? Read that blog post to find out if a protein shake might be a better fit for you.

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5. Count your macros

Pro surfer Nathan Florence says he doesn’t pay a ton of attention to what he eats, but when he did, counting macros was what made a huge difference for him. As someone who says he needs to work on self-restraint, the practice of closely monitoring his intake to hit exact numbers was key to feeling great. Admittedly, counting macros can be a huge workload and takes a lot of self-discipline, but it’s a great way to reap the benefits of mindful eating. Outside of counting macros, Nathan Florence says hydrating, especially as a surfer constantly guzzling salt water, is crucial to feeling good.

For hydration AND recovery, check out CBD Complete Hydration.

6. Correct portions and home-cooked meal

Similar to counting macros, eating the correct portions for your body’s needs is what Tyrese Haliburton struggled with until he hired a chef. He admits to not being a very good cook, and says he would be eating out at a lot of restaurants without someone making well-rounded meals that are catered to his training needs. While you can still order intelligently when dining out, cooking at home gives you the opportunity to really fine-tune your intake.

While most of us aren’t in a position to hire a live-in chef, we do have some tips for meal planning that will get you set up to cook amazing meals that will fuel your training.

7. Maintain a good relationship with food

Athletes are often constantly comparing themselves to other athletes. What was their time? How much did they lift? How did they look doing that trick? Especially for sports like gymnastics, dance, and figure skating, disordered eating is fairly common. That’s why Simone Biles doesn’t overthink what she eats. She told Women’s Health that she eats what feels good (without overeating) and never tracks.

"For gymnasts, in particular, [tracking] can lead to health problems and eating issues, so I just eat what I know I can and should."

No matter what approach you take to your diet, it’s important to always maintain a healthy relationship with food! It’s your fuel and your friend.

8. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself 

Roger Federer is another elite athlete who doesn’t sweat it over food. He knows he eats healthy and likes what he likes. He’s an athlete who eats pasta with a light sauce before every game, enjoys a glass of wine or champagne, and indulges in a little dessert from time to time. 

As always (and as you can probably tell from this post), there’s no one perfect recipe that covers every athlete’s needs, but that can be the fun part! Try new things, pay attention to your body, and see what makes you feel the most energized and lands you the results you’re looking for. If you’re interested in incorporating CBD into part of your nutrition and recovery regime, don’t forget to check out these products from DRYWORLD.

“You can draw confidence out of what you eat and how you go about it. For me, food and drinks and all that stuff is also a way of life to enjoy myself.” — Roger Federer

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