How do OLYMPIANS fuel their bodies?

Mar 04, 2018

Foolish Review 2018 – Week 9 – How do OLYMPIANS fuel their bodies?

Welcome to the Foolish Couple’s Sunday Review. Our work focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles and couple’s wellbeing.

It felt like the whole world was watching the 2018 Winter Olympics. Once every 4 years, athletes trained non-stop just to be able to take a stab at getting GOLD. Being an Olympian is a lifetime achievement for any dedicated athlete.

Winter Olympics has a special place in my heart. I’m not a Winter sports person, I don’t ski, snowboard, ice skate, or do anything remotely close to ice or snow. However, we have personally met a few of the Olympic medalists, and they felt like friends to us.

There were a reported 2925 athletes that went to South Korea to compete at the Winter Olympics.

Olympic athletes have surprisingly high levels of commitment and dedication to their sports. They also take amazing care of their bodies. After all, their vehicle to success is their body.

And it isn’t simply about exercise and practice. A big part of how these athletes stay in optimal health is also their diet. It is a calculated balance of micro and macronutrients. And don’t ever think that they go by RDA guidelines. Optimal nutrition is a far cry from RDA. RDA is what’s keeps us from nutrition deficiency diseases. It does not keep our bodies performing optimally.

Optimal nutrition is hard to achieve. Depending on the type of sport, some athletes may have a 3000-calorie diet while others may have up to 10,000 calories daily. During training periods, they tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates, and in most cases processed carbs. This may not sound healthy and it isn’t healthy, but processed carbs releases energy the fastest and when they are training, they need all the energy they can get. In between training they will eat lots of protein to build and repair the muscles. Protein sources could be from lean meats and protein powder. And then, to balance out the meal, they will top it with veggies and fruits.

Highly processed carbs include breads, cereals, pasta, rice, pizza etc… and they have little or no nutritional value next to being a great energy source. You can get some nutrients from the protein but the majority of the nutrients your body needs are found in the Vegetables and Fruits. And since their diet consists mainly of carbs and proteins, it may be difficult to get optimal nutrition from the vegetables and fruits that they do eat. Therefore many professional athletes opt to choose supplementation to help with their diet to achieve optimal nutrition.

But supplementation is a tough choice for professional athletes. The Olympic committee routinely does random, unscheduled checks to make sure that their athletes are ‘drug-free’. One wrong pill and their career, their dream, could be over. Talking with an Olympian, he told me that the committee once sent someone randomly to his home without notice and demanded a urine sample on the spot! You better pass if you want to stay a Gold Medalist!

The trouble is that because vitamin and supplements are exempt from FDA regulation, manufacturers are legally allowed to go to market with their product without proving their purity levels to anyone.  What does that mean? It means that there are other ingredients that are not on the label that may be in your supplements. Some that may be banned for professional athletes to use.

Are you Surprised?

So we when we first learned the truth that common drugstore brands and specialty store brands routinely failed lab tests in terms of consistency and purity in their ingredients, we are completely shocked.

Something as simple as Fish oil could contain mercury! Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine found small amounts of Mercury  in two of the five brands of fish oil tested. I am sure Mercury is definitely not specified on any label.

Supplementation that is not purified could be detrimental to their health and could destroy an Olympian’s life long dream. They may even contain substances that could make them lose their medals.

You will notice that many athletes drink Protein shakes, shakes made from protein powder mixed with veggies and fruits and maybe some healthy fats between workouts or after workouts. Sometimes, refueling and rebuilding your muscles is more convenient with a shake then eating a steak. But I don’t think any of them intentionally drink shakes for their toxins….

Do you drink pesticides? Do you eat metals such as mercury and lead? You may not intentionally eat these things, but while you are drinking that Protein shake, you may also be drinking heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead. You may also be drinking pesticides and toxins like bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in some plastic containers and food can liners. These substances have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and reproductive issues.

A recent study done by the Clean Label Project tested 134 protein powders from 52 of the top brands and found that all of them had detectable levels of at least one of the heavy metals and that 55 percent of them are tested positive for BPA.

What was scarier was that the even the protein powders that are labeled organic, which most people would buy thinking they are better, had the highest levels of heavy metals and pesticides. The five worst brands they tested were Vega, 360Cut,Quest, Nature’s best and Garden of Life. These are major brands that some of you may already be taking and are available at Whole foods, Costco and major specialty brand stores. 

So it’s very important not just for Olympians and professional athletes, but also for you to choose what Nutritional supplementation to use.

This year at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, many Olympians from the US Ski and snowboarding, Women’s Ski jumping, Speed skating, Canada speed skating and Biathlon teams all trusted and used only one particular brand of nutritional Supplementation and Protein shakes to keep their performance at optimal levels.

This is the only brand in the market that actually provides a written, 1 million dollar guarantee to any professional athlete. The guarantee states that their products are 100% pure, and will only contain what’s on the label and nothing else!

So that’s how I came to realize that not all supplementation are the same. So we gave it a try and our results? You can read more about it here, but let’s just say I am faster, stronger and more agile in my forties than when I was in my twenties. We love our supplementation because of how it has helped our bodies and how it makes us stronger and healthier. They made a dramatic difference in our lives, in our health and wellbeing, in our sports performance and our ability to fight off viruses and sickness.

In addition to diet and exercise, an EQUALLY important part of an Athlete’s training is RECOVERY.

Athletes’ bodies take a tremendous amount of pressure, causing oxidative stress to their cells and a lot of strain and inflammation on their muscles. The rest and recovery is almost as important as the training itself. You may have seen athletes soak in ice baths.

Now the latest Development is Cryotherapy, which allows for your whole body to be blasted with sub zero temperatures in a controlled specialized chamber. The many benefits of Cryotherapy include reduced inflammation; Accelerated sports recovery, improved sleep metal alertness as well as antioxidant synthesis, which is important for repairing your body. I find it has helped with my degenerative arthritis and speeds up my recovery after a heated badminton match.

Last of all your body needs rest, so make sure you get 7-9 hrs of sleep and stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

Until next time, Love what you Live, Live what you Love.


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Over the last few years, we worked hard to acquire new knowledge, and we took some time to decide where our hearts lie. This year, it is time to put that knowledge into good use. Publish all that we’ve learnt and release that to the public. We want to address an issue that was becoming a pandemic in this world, an issue that is close to our hearts.

We are cooking up something. And we spent our entire week on thinking, positively procrastinating, discussing, learning the trade, and devising our plan of action. One of the lessons that we learned from our past was that, the ultimate goal of a business is not for money, but to build a legacy. Which is why, this time, we’re working on a program that will teach the audience how to get a fighting chance to staying healthy through the years.

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[The Foolish Couple, (Andrew and Minna), are Jack Canfield certified success coaches and founder of the Foolish Academy, focusing on Healthy lifestyle and Relationships.]