The #1 Food to Eat Before Working Out, According Olympic Gold Medalist Katie Ledecky
American swimmer Katie Ledecky added a sixth gold medal to her collection when she swam in the Olympics first-ever women's 1500-meter race on Tuesday—and part of her success, according to Alicia Glass, senior sports dietitian for the United States Olympic Committee, is her dedication to following a steady nutrition plan.
During Tuesday night's Olympics broadcast, NBC sportscaster Michele Tafoya recounted her recent conversation with Glass, who said that Ledecky is a "pro at her sport nutrition plan" and that Ledecky even structures her days off to mimic a race day, just so she can keep to the same daily meal schedule.
Ahead of her most recent win, Ledecky had a bowl of oatmeal with extra milk, peanut butter and fruit—Tafoya reported that Ledecky loves the extra boost of protein, carbs and antioxidants. (She'd probably be all about our Peanut Butter Protein Overnight Oats.) She also drinks a cup of hot coffee with her pregame meal, because some studies have shown that swimmers with a higher internal temperature may actually swim faster.
Ledecky isn't the only one who's a fan of starting the day with a bowl of oats—our dietitians say it's one of the best breakfasts for any morning, since it's high in fiber, quick and easy to prepare and super customizable. Oatmeal is also a complex carb, meaning it takes longer to digest and won't result in blood sugar swings the way that a sugary bowl of cereal would. Plus, the fiber content in oatmeal makes it a filling meal that won't leave you hungry after just a couple of hours, making it perfect for folks aiming to lose weight. And for those who prefer not to start the day with a sweet breakfast, there are always tasty savory variations worth checking out.
Ledecky also snacks on granola bars between her last meal and her upcoming race (we're all about this Almond-Honey Power Bar), and usually eats a protein bar and banana post-swim. But honestly, her most relatable post-swim snack has to be the 12-ounce bottle of low-fat chocolate milk she drinks after a draining race—we'll drink to that.