Get Healthy and Fit Like a Champion
Get some summertime health and fitness tips from three Olympic medal winners and their coach.
The Role of Diet continued...
For McPeak, the self-confessed "snacker" of the group, the secret to her strength, she says, comes from eating at least six times a day and snacking on healthy whole foods whenever possible.
"Right now I have fresh fruit, crackers, Fig Newtons, nuts, a bottle of Aquafina and a protein bar -- just to get me through the afternoon," says McPeak, a three-time Olympian. Her postgame recovery meal is always a protein and carbohydrate mix, but she says for real energy she's a protein eater all the way. And she says because she doesn't eat enough vegetables, she supplements with wheat-grass smoothies.
"I don't take supplements, but I do believe in the wheat-grass smoothies, which I think is important if you're not going to eat a lot of vegetables," says McPeak.
For Youngs, the answer lies in avoiding carbohydrates, loading up on protein, and eating organic food whenever possible -- including not only fruits and vegetables but also organic beef and poultry.
"I think it's better for you, I feel better when I eat organic food, though it's not always possible, particularly when we are on tour," says Youngs.
For Walsh, the answer lies in just one food supplement: flaxseed oil.
"It's something that one of our trainers highly recommends. And I've found it helps my metabolism, and it helps in the recovery process. I saw a big difference after I started using it in terms of stamina and in terms of healing quicker from injuries," says Walsh.
All three athletes say they avoid heavy eating before a game, but don't hesitate to snack on high-protein bars and fruit during a match.
"I've always got a protein bar in my bag and I will frequently stop and grab a bite when I feel my energy dipping," says McPeak, who adds that doing so helps keep her blood sugar stabilized as well.
Heat, Humidity, and Safe Summer Fun
While the fun of summer activity is getting to spend your time outdoors, in most parts of the country a single day in the summer heat can go from uncomfortable to scorching before you know it. This is particularly true if you start your day at the beach or park in the early morning and playtime stretches into the hottest part of the afternoon.