It’s day seven of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and Team USA is racking up the medals: We’ve already snagged 16 gold, 12 silver, and 10 bronze, largely thanks to some outstanding swimming and gymnastics performances. Of course, all these world-class athletes have to eat — a lot: More than 10,000 athletes will consume 460,000 pounds of food a day at the Rio Games.
Here now, some fascinating facts about what the Olympians in Rio are eating before, during, and after competing for medals:
— Olympic athletes can eat anywhere from 1,200 to 10,000 calories a day. Wrestlers or other competitors trying to “make weight” may eat very little, while those in endurance sports like rowing eat a ton.
— Olympians are not immune to Instagram food trends. Proof: Ryan Lochte eats avocado toast.
— Team USA rugby player Zack Test eats pizza with whipped cream on top.
— In considerably healthier news, juicing is big with athletes.
— But they also like fast food burgers: water polo competitor KK Clark loves In-N-Out (though tragically there are none in Brazil).
— The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, eats McNuggets for breakfast.
— Olympic athletes eat Uncrustables. Yes, those frozen, pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are apparently good sports fuel, according to Team USA high jump competitor Erik Kynard and beach volleyball star April Ross.
— Overall, though, most athletes are into “clean eating” these days.
— Many have also climbed aboard the gluten-free bandwagon.
— Olympians seemingly ignore the age-old advice about waiting an hour after eating to swim. See: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte chowing down on pre-race pasta.
— In fact, Lochte carb-loads for an entire week before a big race. Good thing he has a personal chef (who used to work for LeBron James).
— While in Rio, athletes sadly won’t be sampling Rio’s finest restaurants. No matter the city, competitors are discouraged from eating anywhere but the Olympic Village due to food safety concerns.
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