The Olympics are here — neither Zika, nor heat wave, not presidential impeachment, nor plumbing woes could keep this age-old competition from moving forward. We're planning marathon Olympic-watching sessions, of course, but all these amazing athletes got us thinking about what it takes to fuel such terrific prowess — in the pool, on the field, in the ring. We asked 10 athletes to share what they eat on a daily basis. Here's what we found out.
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Event: Tennis; Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles
Training Regimen: Fitness, practice, and tournaments — lots and lots of tournaments. At home, 3 days on and one day off. The "day off" could include mountain biking, swimming, or walking.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands is a knockout on and off the court. Currently ranked number 10 in the world for women's doubles, the tennis pro has 19 WTA Tour titles, including the 2015 Australian Open and 2015 French Open for doubles, as well as the 2015 French Open for mixed doubles. She's also been called the "Lady Gaga of the tennis world" for her awesomely outrageous outfits — including a tennis ball-inspired dress by British designer Alex Noble.
Bethanie just wrapped up her Women's Doubles round in Rio and is moving on to the Mixed Doubles match-up. After that, she'll jet to Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open. There's no rest for the wickedly cool, apparently.
Bethanie's Daily Eating Routine
Each morning starts with meditation and reflection, along with either a bulletproof coffee or earl grey tea. After, Bethanie has breakfast, typically gluten-free oatmeal with berries and some MCT oil and a plant-based protein shake with either almond or coconut milk.
"With that shake, I'll add in some mineral powder and also down two of my Omega 3-6-9 caps for some additional fat," she says. "I really like having a lot of fats in my diet. It's an outstanding source of fuel and is also key for recovery."
During practice, Bethanie takes in "a combination of amino acids, sodium bicarbonate, and electrolytes." She'll also chow down on GU chomps or Clif SHOT Bloks, as well as a banana, bar, dates, or orange slices. "Sometimes it just comes down to what I have left over in my bag from the week before or whatever my husband throws in there for me," she says. And, after practice, she has almonds or mixed nuts.
If she doesn't have a homemade lunch, Bethanie says she'll hit up True Food Kitchen or Coconut's Fish Cafe whenever she's in Phoenix. "I've been on more of a fish and seafood kick lately as I feel a lot better eating the lighter proteins compared to beef, chicken, or pork," she says. "Not that I avoid animal fats and proteins, but right now my body is liking the fish and seafood proteins better, so I'm rolling with it."
Along with the fats and proteins from fish and seafood, Bethanie will throw in plenty other fats, carbs, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Some of her favorite sides include greens, salads, berries, lentils, beans, and avocados.
When it comes to dinner, Bethanie says that her husband handles most of the cooking. "Justin knows me well enough by now that he doesn't need to ask what I want for dinner. He can usually tell how I am feeling and what my training was that day, so he adjusts his cooking accordingly," she says.
"I will say we probably eat more guacamole than any other couple out there. He makes it at least three days a week." That is usually paired with protein on the grill, as well as fat and carbs. "If I had to classify Justin's cooking style, it would probably be along the lines of hearty cowboy cuisine with that southwest flare," she adds.
Bethanie also says she's a fan of white wine, but keeps it in check as well as organic. "The sulfites in wine tend to give me a headache whether I have one glass or three glass," she says. "I found a great wine called King Frosch that has both red and whites, with ultra-low sulfites and no histamines. It works really well for me."
Favorite Cheat Food: Pizza
When Bethanie has a chunk of time off, she will seek out all sorts of goodies, including "pizza, desserts, gluten, dairy and anything else that I usually avoid like the plague," she says. However, any old pizza won't do. "It has to be top notch," she says. "Many hours have been spent reading reviews and panning through pictures on Yelp and TripAdvisor to find the right cheat meal/day spots in whatever city I am in."
Rio Must-Eat: Seafood
Bethanie has been to Rio before and she's looking forward to partaking in the local food and drink. "I really enjoy a lot of the South American foods and wines," she says. "But I have been on the ceviche and grilled octopus kick lately, so I'll probably look for those dishes while I am there."
Watch Bethanie Mattek-Sands compete in Rio all week long. The 2016 Olympic Tennis Tournament has already begun!