What Does An Olympic Athlete Eat?

The saying goes, 'you are what you eat," and that's true for Olympic athletes at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.

Recommended calorie intake for most people is 2,000 calories a day, but high impact athletes, like swimmers, gymnasts and runners, training for the Olympics can take in 5,000 - 7,000 calories a day.

"The amount of food that they can eat is pretty amazing," said sports dietitian Eve Pearson, who owns Nutriworks in Dallas and worked with countless Olympic hopefuls and champions like three-time gold medalist Jeremy Wariner.

"When you start looking at calories a day for those types of athletes, their meals are quite large and they're doing it four or five times a day," Pearson said.

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Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte reportedly consumes a whopping 8,000 calories a day and according to Pearson, that kind of consumption isn't easy, even though it's spread out between up to eight meals.

Pearson creates meal plans that include calorie-rich liquids like chocolate milk, juice and sports drinks.

When it comes to "superfoods" in the meal plans, Pearson says it's about the basics.

"There are lot of foods that are important but, yes, if we were going to increase a particular group of foods, it's the same boring fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains," said Pearson.

Three Olympians competing in Rio are vegans, including the only male United States weightlifter, Kendrick Yahcob Farris.

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