What athletes really eat
Wallace Spearmon Jr. is a pro sprinter, 2008 Olympian, two-time world championship gold medalist and member of the Saucony team. He lives in College Station, Texas.
I eat within 30 minutes of waking up, which is usually around 7-8 a.m. For breakfast, I had two pancakes, two eggs and turkey bacon. I headed into the weight room around 10 a.m., and worked out for two hours or so. Right now, I'm gearing up for the U.S. Track & Field Championships, which is at the end of this month.
Then it was time for lunch. Today I went to Chick-fil-A, and had two spicy chicken deluxe sandwiches with American cheese and no tomatoes. No fries. Although I love them, I resist them when I'm training. My body fat is naturally a little high, at 9 to 10 percent -- most sprinters have 5 to 6 percent -- so I have to keep it in check.
In the afternoon, I worked out with Texas A&M's track team for about an hour and 45 minutes. I drank Gatorade for the hydration and electrolytes throughout practice. Right afterwards, the team nutritionist gave me some protein stuff to chug before I got into the cold tub. Later, for a snack, I had a smoothie from Red Mango. It's made with fruit and frozen yogurt. I drink one of those almost every day.
Dinner was Birds Eye Voila! Chicken Alfredo, a frozen pasta meal in a bag, along with some broccoli. Although I'm not much of a cook, I like to eat at home when I can. It's tough to find healthier foods in airports and hotels. When there's a meet overseas, you'll find a lot of us sprinters at the closest McDonald's.
Elena Brower is a yogi and the founder of Virayoga, a studio in New York City.
My day started around 5:30 a.m. with a five-minute meditation, 15 minutes of yoga, and a glass of water. I mixed in YogaEarth Balance & Vitality, a drink supplement that contains antioxidants, enzymes, proteins and other good-for-you things. Then I ate a bowl of quinoa with steamed greens, nutritional yeast and olive oil for breakfast. A Parisian colleague showed me how to combine the different types of quinoa, red, green and black. It looks beautiful stored in a glass jar, and tastes delicious, too.
After spending the morning at my studio, it was out for lunch. I went to a macrobiotic restaurant, Soeun, where I had a plate of brown rice, sea vegetables and steamed greens. My other favorite place to eat in New York is Candle Cafe, which serves fresh, tasty vegan food.
In the afternoon, I took a karate class. I've found that the practice is very strengthening, physically and emotionally, and is a nice complement to my yoga. My son also goes, so it's a family affair. For dinner, he requested (grass-fed) beef chili. Meat is a once- or twice-a-month occurrence in our home, and I always look for a humane source, so we're not eating all the hormones and violence. Then I had some coconut-milk ice cream before bed. I used to stay up fairly late, but I recently made a promise to myself of a 10 p.m. bedtime. It's made a huge impact on my energy level; it's something I recommend for all women, especially moms.
Rachel Buehler is a professional soccer player, co-captain for the U.S. women's national team and a defender for the Boston Breakers.
Right now I'm at training camp in Florida, so every morning starts with peeing on a stick: It's a test to check our hydration levels. From there, we head to breakfast. Today I had some scrambled eggs, an English muffin and fruit before hitting the field to work out for an hour and a half. I had a Gatorade shake, then headed inside. It's important to replenish your muscles within half an hour of exercising.
Lunch at camp is kind of like a restaurant. There's a menu of nutritionist-approved meals, anything from chicken to shrimp; it's hard to get hold of bad-for-you food here. I had a turkey sandwich with a green salad. My boyfriend and I love to cook, but since I travel so much between the national and club teams -- I'm only home about three weeks of the year -- I rarely get the chance.
There was a bit of downtime after eating, and then it was time for our second session. Some days, I hit the weight room, but today we had a tactical session, with position-specific drills. I ate a banana before I headed out, and drank Gatorade during practice.
For dinner, I had brown rice, veggies and beef. A lot of the others girls don't eat red meat, but I like to switch it up, so I eat everything. When we got our iron tested, my levels were high, so everyone joked that it's because I'm a big carnivore. For dessert, there was something nutritious, like a crepe or pancake thing instead of a chocolate-y wonder, so I skipped it. Sometimes they set out candy bars in the training room, along with the other snacks, and when that happens, they're gone in five minutes flat.