Olympians Apparently Eat a Ton of Junk Food

Dietitians spill on what our star athletes actually eat... and it sounds a lot like us in college

When our video producer Ali Rosen interviewed two Olympic athletes, we heard the healthy eating tips we were expecting: smoothies in the morning, healthy sandwiches, plant-based diets, quinoa, steak. But it turns out that Olympians also tend to eat a lot of things like Pop-Tarts, Snickers, chocolate chip cookies, and beer.

The New York Times reports that Olympic athletes tend to eat more unhealthy food than you may expect from a world-class athlete. Dinner may consist of "a pound of pasta drizzled with olive oil (about 800 calories), a dozen eggs (840 calories), an entire cheese pizza (perhaps 2,000 calories), and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cheesecake-brownie ice cream (1,000 calories)." Follow that up with beer. Yikes.

Of course, the athletes are burning all those calories off. At the peak of their training, they reportedly burn some 4,000 to 6,000 calories a day after working out for four to five hours. And replenishing those calories may require more carbs than the healthy stuff. "You can only eat so much oatmeal and tofu," one researcher told The Times.

But the even bigger problem is that athletes are too tired to eat. "We have trouble getting athletes to the table sometimes," a sports dietitician told The Times. "They’d rather nap." Yes, it definitely sounds like college. Especially with all the fooling around in the Olympic Village.