NUTRITION FITNESS

Snacking secrets of Olympic athletes

Have you ever wondered why pro tennis players nosh on bananas between sets? Patricia Bannan, registered dietitian and author of "Eat Right When Time Is Tight," reveals the surprising snacking secrets that give Olympic athletes a competitive edge 

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Hydration is essential for all athletes, particularly in the summer months. In addition to water, pro athletes achieve maximum hydration by consuming foods that are rich in water, too. 

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At the last summer Olympics, 6,000 tubes of applesauce were distributed to 750 Olympic athletes and 250 coaches as they boarded their flights to China. 

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With 95 percent water by weight, zucchini is one of the most hydrating vegetables you can eat, and it provides folate, potassium and vitamins A and C. 

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Leg cramps can cripple an athlete, so preventing them is essential to performing at peak potential. 

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Almonds

Nuts and dried fruit are a great source of magnesium. When combined with the potassium in dried fruit, these snacks can combat even the most intense cramping. For convenience, go for a whole-food bar, like KIND with simple ingredients you can pronounce. 

Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson carries whole nut and fruit bars like KIND at all times ward off cramps. 

Bananas

Bananas, raisins and apricots provide rich sources of potassium, combating mineral deficiencies that lead to cramping. 

 

AP

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To get that final push of energy when crossing the finish line, loading up on carbohydrates is key, and sometimes a burst of sugar can do the trick. 

jelly beans

Many runners will pop a few jelly beans as they near the finish line for a surge of pure sugar that provides immediate energy. 

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Beet juice is purported to increase stamina by increasing the nitric acid in the body, which reduces the energy requirements of muscles. Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall found beet juice to be the solution to his chronic fatigue. 

Snacking secrets of Olympic athletes

Have you ever wondered why pro tennis players nosh on bananas between sets? Patricia Bannan, registered dietitian and author of "Eat Right When Time Is Tight," reveals the surprising snacking secrets that give Olympic athletes a competitive edge 

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